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Wannika: a free 25-minute jrpg created by yours truly; Episode 2 released on June 30!

Discussion in 'jRPG Weeaboo Discussion' started by Roguey, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. Zombra Arcane Patron

    Zombra
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    FWIW I hate managing consumables too. In Final Fantasy VI I used healing potions and fenix downs and that is it.

    Here, the game is so bare bones that I did use the beers etc. without having to be told, because I was getting my ass kicked in the second fight. But there was no joy in it. Once I realized that the game requires you to be buffed on potions, I simply had everyone drink one of everything I had available all the time if they weren't buffed already. (gj housekeeper, you wasted my beers.) It's certainly true that in a way I just don't like the JRPG template so enjoy my comments with a bit of salt. But to me prebuffing is a tiresome mechanic, busywork akin to manually tying each character's shoes every 5 minutes. Also it takes away heroic focus from the PCs and their cool abilities where it should be. Sexy combos, focus fire decision making etc. Wait stop, I have to drink my i win potion. Meh.

    The only place prebuffing makes things more fun is Big Trouble in Little China. My two cents.
     
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  2. Agame Arbiter Patron

    Agame
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    Agreed Zombra, this has always been my problem with Rpgs that overuse potions, scrolls, buffs, etc, if the game is balanced around them than they just become mandatory to use every fight and in that sense redundant, and pointless busywork. Anyway I generally end up being the 'obsessive compulsive collector' and just hoard everything and never use them. eg. finishing a Final Fantasy with 100s of various unused potions...

    But as I said I dont think it was a big problem here just a personal opinion of mine, also I really like the lack of healing mechanic. (Unless I missed it?) It does give the fights a sense of actual danger.
     
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  3. Zombra Arcane Patron

    Zombra
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    Disagree. The worst thing about JRPGs is they take 600 hours to tell a story that could be told just as well in 20. That's why I'll probably never play a proper JRPG again. The lack of filler here was awesome. (I doubt I would have played this at all if "25 minutes" wasn't in the thread title. Sad but true.)

    Fat chance. You trained us that potions are mandatory, and that will guide our behavior for the rest of the game. Don't change the rules, even the unwritten ones, after you set them.

    I was delighted to go straight to the boss fight, but these are terrible reasons not to have intermediate battles. The expectation that you'll fight the guards out front, then fight the guards inside, then fight the boss in the inner sanctum is baked into the RPG idiom. Putting "sensible realism" before good gameplay is a crime in any game - doubly so in a JRPG. I don't like filler, but if you think it will improve the gameplay then put in filler goddammit.
     
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  4. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    Seems like a bit of an overreaction. I tried to telegraph when something big was coming (The "Now for the annoying part" dialogue, the miniquakes before the spirit, the "Go to the roof?" dialogue). I'm not fond of reload-requiring gotchas, and almost everyone does the non-strategic "every battle requires you to give it your all" thing these days, so I wanted to do the opposite of that.

    This can be a problem, which is why I saw to it to keep the number of potions small, both in type and quantity. The police also confiscate all the ones you haven't used when you're arrested, because it makes sense and to discourage hoarding. :P

    They're useful, but not essential. I completed a no-drink run (and a no-gun run for good measure).
     
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  5. Zombra Arcane Patron

    Zombra
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    I appreciate the effort. I guess the game is too short for the player to get a sense of its peaks and valleys of difficulty. Certainly I didn't expect some random zombies to be stronger than the end boss, but I also didn't expect the first big story fight (the very first fight at the house) and the second big story fight to be so vastly different. (And then for that plotline to end abruptly, but we covered that earlier.) The first fight actually has more buildup, doesn't it? Hell, I don't remember.

    Player training is something you should think carefully about in any design. You taught me very early that any new fight could be unexpectedly difficult, and that potions make a huge difference. Maybe I overreacted, but why would I not prebuff regularly after that? Why would I not check every character's shoelaces every few minutes?

    Also, if you don't like reload-requiring gotchas, think about the possibility of running out of potions before the final fight. Wouldn't that be a horrible roadblock, requiring a player to revert to an older save, or quit the game altogether if, like me, they only keep one save file?
    In a traditional JRPG, the solution to this would be to go back to the fields and grind ChickenLip fights to build up enough gold to buy more potions. But none of that is possible here. And even if it was, it's not fun, challenging, or interesting in any way.

    This was effective - I did wonder what would happen when I ran out. But it didn't stop me from chugging them whenever the effects expired. Better to be buffed and not need it than need it and waste 2 turns scrambling to drink them.

    That's a good idea, but ...
    * I had no idea that they were taken away (was there a message about it?) so I didn't learn the lesson you were trying to teach about hoarding.
    * If potions disappear when unused, that's even more reason to drink them constantly.

    Fine, but I had no way of knowing any of that while I was playing. All I knew was that failing to prebuff made things disastrously difficult sometimes. I didn't press the lever so I didn't get a pellet. Moving forward, I made sure to always press the lever.

    [​IMG]
    There were gifs of a rat in a Skinner box but this is funnier.
     
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  6. Plane Escapee Your friend Patron

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    Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Cheers Roguey, looking forward to checking it out. Any planned DLC?
     
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  7. SkiNNyBane Learned Patron

    SkiNNyBane
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    Making a game is incline.
     
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  8. Glop_dweller Augur

    Glop_dweller
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    I think there is a limit to that. I recall in Lands of Lore III, there was discarded fruit and gold coins stuffed in every niche & corner one might rest their gaze upon. Fountain? free money piles. Dead-end alley? Nope, it's got something stashed behind whatever obvious object could hide it. This sort of thing presumes that no one but the player character ever looks for, or picks up anything; and that someone goes around stashing it all.

    In Fallout, most of the containers were empty—because they would have been looted decades before the PC ever got there; unless the area was somebody's current or recent home, or that it was so isolated (or deadly) that no one had looked... or survived the place.
     
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  9. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    Going back to "Roguey's attempts to minimize ludonarrative dissonance." A massive group of spirit-controlled meatslaves could overwhelm you all at once, but they're commanded not to because it would result in even greater casualties. So they offer token resistance to obey the agreement just enough, but if you come seeking them out, well, they're obligated to come at you. And then a spirit gets mad because you're killing zombies that weren't part of their token resistance. Now if you just run in, get drinks, and run back out, that's fine, they're not going to follow you out, nor will the spirit appear. A shrug with a "We tried."

    That's the consequence of poor strategic management. Whenever I play a fps or something with a similar set-up, I always make one manual save at the beginning of a level, then quick save throughout. I figure everyone else would also be playing that way once they see there's no health regeneration after every fight or any place to manually heal. I'm not interested in providing the illusion of strategic gameplay like so many RPGs do.

    They're taken when the cop takes the flash drive. I would expect a player to notice in the next fight, after that fight, or when Sue arrives and announces she brought stuff (to make up for some of the potential loss).

    As long as you're getting some benefit from them, that's fine. It might not be the most optimal way to play, but having more health when you're up against the final fight in an area is still good.

    I'm getting hoisted by my unwillingness to explain too much through dialogue (perhaps an understatement), but these are consequences I believe I'm willing to accept. :M
     
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  10. Agame Arbiter Patron

    Agame
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    I think this is a tricky one, myself I am very much an 'ironman light' kind of player, I will save every now and then but I dont like reloading (and abhor save scumming) so will always try to accept the consequences of battles/narrative choices unless its game over kind of situations. So if a game has no difficulty levels I would expect at default it should cater to my playstyle. Regardless I do like what you are doing with the combat here, and I think with a longer game the player will get used to the rhythm of it.

    As I said earlier I respect your use of text in this game, less is always more, but there is a very fine line with an RPG as you can provide so much information to the player through text/dialogue, and considering you seem to be pushing a more narrative driven style of game, with fewer 'set piece' battles, this is something you are going to have to put time into and experiment with, how much information do you give away?
     
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  11. Zombra Arcane Patron

    Zombra
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    I brofist you, but you're talking about realism. This kind of thing is unrealistic but that's not why it's bad imo. It's bad because it's unchallenging, unadventurous, mindless. Clicking on every bush in a game isn't "exploration" as some claim, it's farm work.

    Now, hiding an occasional treasure somewhere and giving some kind of hint that it's there, that's great. That's challenging and thoughtful, and gives the player an incentive to think and observe. Having trash cans everywhere with 1gp in them is the opposite of this.

    Wow. "I assume that other players are going to think like me, use the same strategies that I already know will work, and manage their save files the same way that I do. If they don't, fuck them." This is not making me eager to try your next game.

    Yeah man, all this stuff is happening in your head and only in your head. No one is going to write down how many beers they have left and periodically audit the total in game.
    Good on you and sincere good luck with your next project. With this "read my mind or die" attitude it's definitely not going to be for me.
     
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  12. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

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    The keen thing about Zombra selling this as more hardcore than it really is: received an increase in downloads after days of no downloads. :)

    I'm not VD. An exchange I remember in particular was when the AoD demo was released, and a badgamer took issue with how difficult a particular fight was. VD said it was totally doable, he himself was able to defeat that guy 7/10 times. The badgamer pointed out that if someone with his knowledge of the system he himself created could lose 3 times while playing about as perfectly as one could possibly play, it was a sign that he had made it too difficult and/or the randomization too swingy. I thought that was a persuasive argument, so I resolved that if I ever had any character fall in combat (not even a tpk) while playtesting normally, I'd tune it down. On the opposite side, if the characters cleared the area with too much health, I'd tune it up. I'm not into highest-challenge-level-for-system-masters difficulty, but I have to feel like I'm earning it.

    For the thing I have currently in pre-production (everything subject to change or never actually completed of course), my idea is that there's a safe house you can go into to heal for "free" (there are narrative living expenses, which justifies what little money you end up receiving for your consumables budget). However, once you enter a mini-combat area (can't really call these dungeons, though there might be one or two areas a bit larger near the end), I make it clear through a prompt to ask if you're sure, because you won't be able to leave until the job is done. Once again battles will be tuned so that while it's possible to clear an area without consumables, they're heavily encouraged (after all, there's absolutely nothing else to spend money on except something unlocked by the endgame). There's also at least one quest that would involve going around town finding certain kinds of things to fight where one can backtrack to rest to their heart's degenerate content. Seems fair to me.
     
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  13. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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  14. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    As mentioned in her bio, she's a huge Meiko Kaji fan. She's also a dork, dressing as a knock-off of one of her idol's roles (as noted in-story, this kind of outfit just looks goofy in the context of reality).
    [​IMG]

    Plus there's the humor regarding whether Wannika's just being flippant or actually misunderstood her name as "Sue Doscorpion." Leaving it up to interpretation.
     
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  15. AdolfSatan Learned

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    Just gave this a try. Enjoyed it quite a bit, though it felt rushed after the collapse. Understandable given the length of the game, though. Nice to see that you kept your cool and put out a game that's unpretentious and good. Would love to play whatever you're planning on developing next.

    Absolutely amazing shit I urge you to keep:
    -Map design. Nice and functional.
    -None of the worse JRPG tropes (checking random containers for loot, grinding, flashy animations).
    -Graphics. Nothing to write home about, but sober and consistent.
    -There where no frustrating design choices — as in battles that will force you to reload for having arrived without the fore-knowledge of what they entail... which you can only obtain by getting into it and failing the first time. Nice.

    Combat was alright, music kinda meh.
    As long as you don't force me into more combats than I care for (main reason for my dropping Expeditions: Conquistador was precisely that combat felt like a chore while being mostly unavoidable), it's ok, but a good soundtrack can do wonders for a game.
     
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  16. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Wannika 2: Working Vacation is the somewhat-more ambitious 33-minute slam dunk sequel to the cult hit released only a few weeks ago. After the events of that game, Wannika has decided she needs to stay out of the city until the heat dies down. Of course since she's not exactly rolling in money, it'll have to be a (subtitle drop). Accompanied by Sue, who insisted on tagging along, the two have set up of a semi-legitimate animal control service. Low-stakes, high intensity adventure awaits!

    New features:
    • A light version of the Bioware formula: Introduction, do three things in any order, endgame.
    • More narrative reactivity, including more dialogue choices. Wannika can either be happy or mopey with her present circumstances. Moreover, there's not a single choice where all options lead to the same node; each one has a different response.
    • Genuine gameplay-and-narrative-affecting C&C in the endgame. This is a true role player.
    • In a swerve from convention, a decision you make near the beginning has an affect on the ending. Though it's so subtle that I felt it necessary to point it out here; otherwise I doubt anyone would notice.
    • A shop where you can buy things. You'll have to, because there are no items to be gained in the world itself, other than the next item (Nika's not going to steal from her own customers, she's trying to lay low, remember?). It's possible to complete this without using any items (I've done it), but it'll be incredibly difficult.
    • Fishing along with the ability to cook those fish. You can sell them too if you wish.
    • An epic and epically hilarious final sequence. Some of you might hate it, but I give you the tools to deal with it ahead of time. When a knowledgable character says prepare, you better prepare.
    Since I forgot to mention it last time, I believe it would be helpful for you to know that F12 is a convenient hotkey that resets you back to the main menu. As always, I appreciate feedback.

    Download link: http://www.mediafire.com/file/m4w7pkndewlemry/Wannika2.zip/file
     
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  17. AdolfSatan Learned

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    Well, since my classes got cancelled I figured I'd give this a try.
    It was... an absolute bore. The quests were stupid, the fights in them overly easy, and story-wise it lacked the punch the first edition had.
    So, a huge flop after a promising start? Congratulations on becoming a true RPG developer!

    EDIT
    I realize my comment didn't offer much in terms of constructive criticism, so my apologies for that. Here's some stuff I consider worth pointing out:

    Music was abysmal.
    Mazes. Either make'em interesting or don't put them there at all.
    Going into basements/attics to kill lesser critters? You were a sewer-level short of replicating the worst tropes to ever grace the genre.
    All combat amounted to was hitting attack, and using the specials whenever possible, targeting one enemy at a time. At no point the increase MATK skill felt useful. In that line, none of the status effects applied by the enemies had any major effect on my battling tactics, they were just minor nuisances.
    Had it'd become actually necessary, the fried fish would have been a nice trade-off for the time it took to get it. As it stands, the whole fishing ordeal was pointless.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
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  18. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

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    Turns out sequel fatigue can even affect free, short-in-length indie darlings. Of course I won't know for sure if it was a "I don't care for the concept behind this," or "Liked the first one all right, but I had enough," or even a "I didn't like the first one and won't bother with any RogueyPGs in the future" until I release an unrelated title (good news; I have ideas for two different things). Since enough time has passed I can drop a spoiler and alert Lilura to her special guest appearance if she cares to critique it.

    Lessons learned:

    No more sequels. I suppose the first one did have a more interesting premise and tenser combat, but I played both back-to-back a few days ago and the sequel certainly looks and feels more profeshunal and more nearly full-scale-rpg. I improve in some aspects and fewer people are interested, just like Absurdian and all the rest. As I said, I won't know for sure until I release something else (in which case the lesson would be "no more games" though I am pretty darn determined to release at least two more before calling it quits).

    Classic dungeon pacing is dead. I suppose I may have botched the execution, and people are more open to this thing if it were done better by someone else; regardless, I will never make another area where you fight a handful of relatively easy encounters intended to wear you down before you fight somewhat-more-difficult ones tuned for a worn-down party. Future titles will have roughly one to maybe three combat encounters per area, and they will all be capable of a total party kill (unless there's a solid narrative reason to include an easy fight). There will still be strategic resource management with this kind of pacing. The obvious downside here is that I'll have to work even harder to try to create enough quality content to make something that can last for even an hour or more (not easy when you can't rely on gaming timesinks and exposition), but them's the breaks.
     
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  19. Agame Arbiter Patron

    Agame
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    Ah the dreaded sequel: where high expectations go to die!

    I have to admit I was very un-excited by the premise of this second game, given the dramatic ending for the first game, and the buildup to the occult stuff, I was expecting more of that. But I will try and give it a run through at some point for feedback.

    As you say the best thing would be do something new but iterate on the systems that are working for you. I do agree minimal and placed encounters seem to work with your style the best.
     
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  20. baud Savant

    baud
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    Just finished it tonight. I had a good time, it's nice to have something low-key that can be played in one sitting.

    Random though written while I played, mostly in order of appearance in the game:

    Bees: Perhaps a queen would have been better than a big stack of bee for the boss. Also it would have been better to know wtf we're doing here, like 'the hive is on the other side of this maze/Can't they have a lawn like normal people?'. But I think that starting on a job is better than starting at the house.

    [​IMG]
    This parking is weird, there should have been more parking spaces in the middle of the parking. Perhaps one or two more parked car would have helped.
    Roy's front lawn has the same problem.

    You could have added a few NPCs in the city, in addition to the cars. Also a few more details, like trees or bin would have been cool, since we're spending some time there. On the other hand, for the time spent in the city, its size was good.

    When I tried to fish, the miss rate is rather high. And you should perhaps add a text indicating that you're using the bait.

    Shop is sad, it's lacking colors. Perhaps adding another type of furniture would have helped, too.

    The dialogues are good, but it's not as compeling as the previous aventure; we're doing pest extermination for a blog post, it's missing the hook of the personal vengeance and investigating a creepy hotel.

    Also the dungeons are boring, but you already found out.

    I think this will be a good solution to the pacing in the dungeons.

    For the last part, having the color in the city to reflect the sunset and the night is a nice touch.

    Lol at the background check to buy the rifle

    The werewolf is a nasty surprise, I did not expect it. I killed him for this.

    Roy is stupid.

    Also what's the point of buffing before the final boss room, since all the buff will be expanded after the first fight against skeleton, which are canon fodder?

    The generic sequence was nice.

    Perhaps you should have done another linear game instead of trying the Bioware formula.
     
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  21. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    The graphics pack didn't include graphics that work like this out of the box. I would have had to modify them myself, and it seemed like too much effort for too little reward.

    Working as designed, reflecting the reality of fishing where you can be out there for hours and not catch anything. Live Bait increases your odds considerably, more so than reality.

    But was it an entertaining stupid? He's supposed to be affably obnoxious.

    It's more of a "Hey you better heal up if you can" warning, but I was aware that some people could get angry about wasted buffs, which is partially why the first fight is the most demanding of the skeleton waves (plus narrative-wise it demonstrates the time it requires to reanimate them and the dwindling number available)
     
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  22. Urthor Arbiter Patron

    Urthor
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    Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Codex review when?
     
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  23. baud Savant

    baud
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    Too bad. It's not a big problem and the shop which is open look better on the outside.

    Just stupid stupid. Why would he try to murder the hired help if they have killed the werewolf? What is he trying to do?

    It's just that having enemies not visible on the map is a change from most of the rest of the game, it might have worked better if one of the characters told something to the effect of "he's summoning skeleton to stop us".

    Also regarding money, when starting to work for Roy, you get a lot of money, which make buying a lot of thing in the shop possible, even with buying the rifle, which contrast a lot with the rest of the game.
     
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  24. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    He's a parasite who exploits his illegal laborers. It was clear that Wannika, being who she is, wasn't going to leave without a fight, so he had to deal with her. Originally I had the idea that he'd openly hit on Sue and explicitly state his intention to turn them all into his undead brides, but I felt it made him too unlikable. Now the bride stuff is something one can assume or not if they wish.

    Well, you had to have enough to buff for the battles at the wolf cave and the endgame. I also wanted it to feel like a genuine windfall; narratively, Wannika is risking a great deal by doing something illegal with a greater-than-negligible risk of getting caught, so the reward has to be worth it, even if it didn't end up as large as she was hoping.
     
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  25. aweigh Arcane

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