Venerable Tales

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"Would you like to hear a story? This is a tale of braves heroes and mystical creatures... The history of our world... The Venerable Tales..."

Spoiler for "Backstory":
Long ago, at the beginning of time, lived three races in harmony; humans, elves, and conjurers. Each their own a special skill. But peace never last... In each heart dwells a small amount of hatred and evil. Over many centuries, all of the world's hate bore an evil creature of demonic powers that wrecked havoc all over the planet. Three heroes, one of each race, defeated the Darklord with help from the Gods and sealed it away. To encrypt the seal, they used the power of the four element stones. After these events, the three races split and went to separate continents and peace was restored again.
But peace never lasts...
Spoiler for "Current":
Follow Jules Bernard, a 19 year old egotistic swordsman with only one wish, to serve his country as a respected and valiant knight. On his journey, his destiny and forgotten heritage is revealed to him in unexpected ways which will dramatically change his life forever.
Along the way, he'll meet a cast of unique characters who'll aid him in receiving the blessing he so direly needs to put a halt to events reoccurring and the rupture of peace that will soon take place.

Spoiler for "Jules Bernard":

Age: 19
Class: Swordsman
Abilities: Swordplay & White Magic.
Element: Holy
Race: Human
Location: Rouser
Summary: Jules is an over-confident, egotistic narcissist who strives to be the best and thoroughly believes that there is nothing that he can't achieve. Many are annoyed by the fatal flaw and from time to time he receives are friendly thump on the head because of it. Though he is egotistic, he is not selfish; his goal in life is to help the people of Rouser. He cares for those around him(but doesn't show it all of the time).
Notable traits: Egotistic, cocky, selfless, kind.
Spoiler for "Elliot Chalke":

Age: 18
Class: Lancer
Abilities: Spearplay
Element: Fire
Race: Human
Location: Rouser
Summary: Even if Jules will never admit to it, Elliot is his closest friend since birth. This beautiful perky girl is twice the man he'll ever be, though. This tomboy is very strong and independent. However, she is also extremely blunt, upfront, and acts decisively which will surely get her in trouble one day. If she does a favour for you she'll be expecting something in return.
Notable traits: Perky, tomboy, blunt, honest, decisive.
Spoiler for "Fleché Ralph":

Age: 17
Class: Hunter
Abilities: Hunt
Element: Earth
Race: Human
Location: Grotz
Summary: Fleché is a modest village girl whose neurosis sometimes gets the best of her. It is amazing how one so clumsy can manage to be such a talented bows-woman. Unfortunately, Fleché oftentimes gets in her own way, and, somehow, in everyone else's too. She is always there to lend a helping hand but you'd have to be desperate to take it because she would wind up tripping and taking you with her.
Notable traits: Excitable, neurotic, kind, accident prone, clumsy.
Spoiler for "Yua Rendarie":

Age: 26
Class: Ninja
Abilities: Steal & Ninjutsu
Element: Fire
Race: Human
Location: Balgen
Summary: Yua is a very mysterious man who no one really knows about. Not even the king who he is very loyal to know anymore then his name and his talent. He shows no emotion and only seems to care about one thing: the current task on hand. Perhaps he is traumatized? Or maybe he was raised to see emotions as a burden? Who knows.
Notable traits: Mysterious, quiet, emotionally numb, modest, loyal.
Spoiler for "Zeiss McAdory":

Age: 20
Class: Black Mage
Ability: Black Magick
Element: Air
Race: Conjurer
Location: Anima
Summary: Zeiss is the only being on the face of the planet whose ego rivals that of Jules. This playful fellow loves a challenge and is open to any game. Just don't try to make him work! Like a sloth, Zeiss wants nothing more than to lounge around. Although he hides it well, Zeiss is actually a bit of a coward on the inside. Maybe his ego is just a mask?
Notable traits: Egotistic, playful, lazy, cowardly.
Spoiler for "Nevaeh Babette":

Age: 19
Class: White Mage
Ability: White Magick
Element: Water
Race: Elf
Location: Anima
Summary: A stunning elf with a mysterious past. Abandoned as an infant with only her sister, the Elder of Anima was kind enough to take her in. Nevaeh needs and asks for no help and always seems to be carrying a bit of a chip on her shoulder. It's too bad beauty is only skin-deep; in laymen's term, Nevaeh is a bitch who makes no attempt to hide it.
Notable traits: Edgy, bitchy, mean, witty, independent.

Spoiler for "Screenshots":











Spoiler for "Features":
- Black and white magick from FF4, as well as many others.
- Quest system (inc. side quests).
- Cut scenes.
- Skits.
- Final Fantasy IV: The After Years styled sprites.
- Side view ATB system.
- Overdrive system.
- A large cast of characters.
- No Ralph!!!

Spoiler for "Credits":
Square-Enix.
Everyone who had a part in The Tankentai SBS/ATB.
Kylock.
Mr. Bubble.
Whoever made the Mode 7 script(they did not sign their name).
Dargor.
Modern Algebra.
Jens009.
Falcao.
Battleback modifier script creator(also not signed).
Yanfly.
BulletXt.
CruzCoda.
Woratana.
Ahref.
KGC.
Grafikal.
Yanfly.
Cozziekun.
CrimsonSeas.
Petrify script creator(also not signed).
Jet10985
Thorondor
Synthesize
A person who made a port map which I based Port au Port off of. I unfortunately do not remember their username and could not find the map again. :( (I believe it was from this site.)
Rmrk.net
Rpgmakervx.net
Spriters-resource.com
Cooltext.com
Vgmusic.com
Bluelaguna.net
Youtube.com

I apologize if I have forgotten anyone!!

Spoiler for "Demo Link":
http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?tlc4klpisug6i19

Notes:
- Does not include RTP Data.
- Make sure you run using start.
- Took me 4:34:43 to complete.
- Approximately 20-25% of game.
- There are hidden treasures, fake walls, etc., so make sure to look around.
- 10 skits to be viewed.
- 3 side-quests.
- Please give me feedback on it and report any bugs. :)

Version History:
<Version 1.0> 27/03/12: Initial release of demo 1.0.
<Version 1.0.1> 29/03/12: BGM overlapping fix.
<Version 1.0.2> 01/04/12: Minor bug fix, option to skip intro.

Spoiler for VT: Insider:

Click on the button to go to the blog.

Notes:
This is a revamp of an old project that was posted here.
The only thing that is similar is the very basic parts of the story, everything else has been redone; story, characters, most everything. Sooooo if you played the monstrosity that was the old project then please don't judge this on that.
That topic for the old project has long since been deleted. I wish to keep it that way because I feel that Venerable Tales can be considered an entirely new game(hence the name change) that doesn't need to be anchored by its past self. :p
I play-tested the demo and I didn't run into any problems but if you do please please report them! It is easy for me to miss things haha.
Please don't say how the tilesets and characters clash, I am aware of this. :P
Lastly... Enjoy. :)
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 03:19:27 AM by Ecut »
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It looks like a very neat project. I like the portrait graphics; the designs are similar to Fire Emblem, but your art style is different and I quite like it.

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I like the your art style, I'll try to get around to playing the demo tomorrow. Just try to work hard on the storyline, because honestly, you're coming from a pretty common backstory. But if you write a really good story, that wouldn't be a problem at all. Looks good, I'll be waiting for the final product.

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I actually really like your art style, and i didn't think that it clashed at all, but the sprites look weird to me because of how small they are.

I'm really interested in this game, I'm downloading it now and will playthrough it, or at least some of it tomorrow.

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@ Modern Algebra: Thanks. :) I tried to make them like the FE9 portraits but look different at the same time! Guess it worked.  ;D

@ Thomasbradley: Yeah this is what I am scared of! There are things I have planned to happen that are hinted at it in the demo but you don't really see them develop in the demo. I've thought of scrapping the whole idea but I'd have to throw away all the work I've done and all the stuff I have planned. :p So I am hoping that it doesn't come off as too boring. And enjoy the demo. :)

@ Hiromu656: Wow, I've heard so many times about how they clash! I agree that they are small for everything but I am not really sure how to fix it. xP I've tried zooming them in but they wind up looking bigger and too pixelated haha. I may try a FF1/2 PSP style for the map but I'd have to redo all of the characters and make all of the NPCs... So hopefully I will figure something out. Enjoy the demo as well. :) If you come across any bugs, please let me know!
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Just played part of the demo, and it seems pretty good so far! I did notice a few small problems with grammar and spelling, though. That isn't too hard of a fix though, and it's possible that you could get someone to help you with that, like an editor. Also I noticed that during battles, the battle bgm doesn't stop after the battle, nor does the me after winning, so a lot of music was overlapping. Otherwise, it's look pretty good, so good luck!

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Thank you! :)
Yeah, I may have to hire an editor. ;D

And did you run the game using 'Start'? That should solve the problem of music overlapping! I will have a look to see though...

Edit :
Now this certainly is a problem ... Thanks for reporting it! The game didn't have this problem when I tested it... :|
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 10:48:14 PM by Ecut »
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And did you run the game using 'Start'? That should solve the problem of music overlapping! I will have a look to see though...
Yeah, I chose start. Is that for the continue map bgm script?

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It is indeed! I will look into it. :)

Edit:
Okay so the problem seems to occur when you run from a battle...
I tested it and the only solution I see to this is if you use 'Game', when the Rescue starts up, you can quit it to stop the battle bgm.
I will go to thread I found the script and see if there any solutions/contact the scripter!
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 10:56:13 PM by Ecut »
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It is indeed! I will look into it. :)
Yeah, I'm having trouble with that script too. I have it set to play one of three bgm, but it doesn't play anything at all when I go into battle haha.

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Okay, I've solved the problem! I had to rearrange some of the scripts. :p
I will update the first post in a little bit with the fix.
Edit:
Updated.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 11:54:24 PM by Ecut »
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Ok I gave your demo a go.

Quite frankly, this intro scene is way too long. And once it was finally done, there was another long while of cutscenes.

I think this game is pretty awesome so far, you've managed to make a pretty good skit system, and the command option of pressing 'Z' to enter/exit something rather than just doing it on its own is also pretty good.

The character graphics reminds me of Fire Emblem, and you've used the 'chapter title' theme from Fire Emblem 7 during your own chapter title scene.
I think what I like about this game so far is the fact that it seems to combine my two favourite commercial games into one.
Fire Emblem and Tales ;D




Anyway, with that in mind - game breaking problem
Spoiler for:
As soon as I enter this place, I literally can't move my character, everything else seems to work fine, but movement/menu ... Any input on my end is not happening.

I think you've got an autorun event set up here and it's not working the way it should.


I do wanna keep playing (mostly due to the fact that you've got 'Never Surrender' from TotA in your BGM folder, and I wanna see how you use it). But I didn't save and I really don't want to go through that long freaking intro scene again.


BTW, you've got a nice logo before the title screen :D

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Yeesh! I'll have a look and fix it. :) What is weird is that I haven't encountered this problem... There are autorun events for the skits but I believe that is it... However, there is obviously something fooling up.
I don't want to disappoint you but Never Surrender isn't used in the demo! I do have a plan for it though.

And about the intro:
How about adding an action input so that you can skip it? I did intentionally make it long but I totally understand that you would get tired of it. xP

Thanks for all of your words! They're helpful. :)
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I'm one of those players that does everything else before the main story.
So I talk to all NPCs that I can and finish sidequests, etc, before I continue any storyline quests.

Basically, the moment I left the first village and saw the choice between the castle (where we're meant to go) and another town/village - I went to the village, that's where the bug occurred.

In regards to your intro, I'm fine with long intros and the like, However I do get bored when I don't see any action happening for 5-10mins straight.
Showing a small battle between the three heroes and the dark minion thing would definitely help.

And yes, a skip intro button would also be helpful :D

I will make sure to play again sometime soon... (GIAW projects and stuff) :-X

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I was thinking about having a scripted battle between the three heroes and X... Maybe I'll put it in. :)
And I have added an option to skip the introduction before it starts so that solves that!
Now onto the town bug!

Ps. The fact that you're one of those people makes me extremely glad! It means that I'll know if someone runs into an error with them. ;D

Edit:
Nope, I can't seem to make the glitch occur . :S

Edit2:
Okay, I got it to happen. It was a silly little problem but I've fixed it.
Demo 1.0.2 will be up in half an hour or so.

Edit3:
Updated first post.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 11:16:52 AM by Ecut »
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As part of a thing I've started doing, I decided to start with this game. Basically, I'll play for an hour and see what my initial response is. You are the first victim of this little venture, but I do hope it is of help.

For me, that first 30 minutes is a crucial period where I'll decide whether I want to keep playing or not. By extending it to an hour, I'm giving it the benefit.

I do want to mention this: It has been noted that I can be rather blunt and this may come across as being hostile. That is not the intention. It is, in fact, my way of providing constructive criticism. I don't like to sugar-coat or beat around the bush when it comes to giving my opinion. Where I can I do like to offer my thoughts and suggestions and hope that they are seen as helpful opinions.

Note: this is a little longer than I thought it would be, so I have put a spoiler around it. There's no tl;dr version, because that isn't very good for making a constructive comment.

Spoiler for:
The back story is fairly solid. It's a standard theme that is present in over 90% of all stories you can tell: good guy(s) thwart the plans of the bad guy(s). But there's no obvious tie to the current story, so I'm not sure that we needed to really know about it. I can only assume that somewhere between then and now that seal has been broken and we're going to see the "revival" of said evil entity. I had expected, with the phrase "But the peace never lasts...", to be thrown straight into the chaos rather than going through the build up. I like to be gripped from the get go, personally, so I found it a bit slow to start. In fact, in that first hour, I never once got wind of something big about to happen. Just some rather strange, and frankly unbelievable, stuff about being sent on some quest by a very personal and amicable Queen Irene.

Rather than the intro scene relaying what happened in the back story, it might have been better to have us involved in seeing the reawakening of this demon. We can be told the back story along the way to fill in the gaps. I like a good mystery, so starting with only a bit of information and then working out the parts in between is appealing to me. It also gives us some extra insight into what the story is going to be about from the beginning. Then, when we are hooked, we can go through the relatively dull part of introducing the main hero(es) because we already want to see what happens next. Another way, is to do the good old fashioned "earlier that day/week" after seeing some intriguing mid-story event. It might be old fashioned, but it is a tried and tested method that does work very well.

Now, to explain why I find the start of this game a little unbelievable. It has something to do with a paradoxical character; Jules Bernard is a self-centred, narcissist who wants to be a noble and honourable knight who will protect his village? I have to ask, is there some personal reward that Jules is seeking for this to even be believable? An egotistical person does not do things for nothing, or to help others. They do things for personal gain. So, unless our hero has a hidden agenda we are not aware of (which I can't actually see from my initial impression of him in game) this description of him may need a little modifying. I can understand a cocky, over-confident, "I'm God's gift to Knights" persona that wants to prove to others and himself that he is just that. Perhaps over the course he mellows out and gains a bit of modesty, and here we have a believable character we will see change. Think Cloud from FF7 (which this character image seems heavily based on by the way). He starts off as a mercenary seeking only monetary gain by loaning out his skills. We then see him go on a journey of self-discovery and a personality change. This works for me. Your vision of Jules does not.

That's only some of the issues I have with the underlying concept behind the game. I have issues with the Queen character too. I'm not sure why she would want an obnoxious individual to represent her. And I'm not sure why she also sends 2 trained soldiers who actually help him (and let's Jules' friend tag along? I had no idea she had some other skill the Queen was fond of, so this seemed out of the blue to me). Either she would have sent her own soldiers if it was important, or she would have had the soldiers follow, but not assist, in the event things went wrong. To me, it looks like these characters were sent to attempt to balance out the battles - which are a little punishing at the start; 80HP max and the enemies hit for over 50% of that? I actually died when I went outside for the first time and 3 birds just ate my party. At about level 4 or 5, these become more bearable, so I would suggest raising the initial level a little and perhaps only have the 2 soldiers jump in to assist at a very much needed moment instead of straight away. We are, after all, being tested for our aptitude.

Touching on the graphical aspects: there's a few areas that I think could do with some work. It's most aesthetic more than anything. One is that some of the auto tile shadows don't actually show up where they should. I know that this is an engine side issue with VX. However, you can combat it by either tying a picture to areas affected to simulate the auto tile effect. Alternative, create some custom graphics and use events to fill it in. The second issue is in proportions. There's a house in the main village in the north that looks very small on the outside but looks huge on the inside. This I don't have a problem with, as I've seen it a lot in many old titles. However, because you include a view of the outside world, you can see how you've scaled the size of the house vertically, but not horizontally.

Spoiler for Like So:


I don't pretend to know a lot about graphics, but to me it doesn't look right. Perhaps if you made the house graphic on the outside look a little longer horizontally, or scale out the inside house view of the outside a little horizontally. The third, more common way, is to block out the outside view. There's nothing wrong with doing this. And since the outside is not important to the inside, it removes distractions.

The obvious, final thing to note is that the characters really are too small. It actually made it uncomfortable to play. It looks as though the entire world was hit by dwarfism (no insult intended to people who have this condition) and they haven't gotten around to making their houses smaller. There was a scene in the intro where a person was out-sized by a cabbage.

I'm not a fan of whatever it is you are using to manage your BGMs. I had it crash on me mid battle and ended up with a looping sound playing over the other BGM. Not to mention it continued playing the BGM even after I shut down the game. I'm glad I figured out a way to shut it up quickly.

There's a few other things I noted, but I'll leave them out at the minute or I would go on for a while.

To close: after the one hour was up, I wasn't really interested in the story - whatever that actually was. I didn't see a reason to want to keep going, and I'd only keep going to offer more insight and to help with any bugs I'd find. Outside of testing it - in which my opinion on the game itself is very much irrelevant - I'm not too sure about it.

It's not the actual story itself, though, but rather the apparent randomness of events at the start that don't appear to offer much to the initial experience. Like I said earlier, those first 30 minutes are crucial in capturing the attention of the player. But even after an hour I wasn't captured. That very slow pacing is a bad thing for me. Once you've got the player, then you can begin to slow the pace down and drag them along for the ride.

(Why do I always feel like it's the end of the world and I'm the last man standing?)

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I played your demo, or as much as I could. When I tried to head south from the first area, the game crashed and said, "Unable to find file Audio/BGM/Wild Arms OST 11. Lone Bird in the Shire (Roddy's Theme). I tried it twice and still got this error.

About the intro and the fight between the three heroes and X. You could let the player control the battle and use it as a tutorial and such. I think it could kill two birds with one stone; back story and tutorial.
addled = confused

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I played your demo, or as much as I could. When I tried to head south from the first area, the game crashed and said, "Unable to find file Audio/BGM/Wild Arms OST 11. Lone Bird in the Shire (Roddy's Theme). I tried it twice and still got this error.

About the intro and the fight between the three heroes and X. You could let the player control the battle and use it as a tutorial and such. I think it could kill two birds with one stone; back story and tutorial.
If you want to make the 40 sprites that doing that would require then be my guess. ;)
On a more serious note, I just checked the demo and the file is there so it is weird that you are having that problem. No else has reported that problem either... Perhaps deleting it and re-downloading it?

And thank you Logan for that very in-depth critique. I will look into tweaking some things. Some of it I will ignore (like the evil guy being reborn in the intro because that hasn't happened yet), etc. But I do appreciate it. :)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 05:24:27 PM by Ecut »
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Progress report!

Due to several demands, I've added a playable area in the intro:

Yay we get to fight insert name here and see it get trapped. Fun times.

I've also changed the scene with Irene so that she isn't so personal, as well as changing why Elliot goes with you to Grotz.

However, I didn't change Jules' overall personality. This is because it is very possible for someone to be egotistical but not selfish. I may change it so that he is selfish because there is a later planned event that could serve as a good turning point for him but at the moment I am standing by my decision to have a character with arguably two contradicting traits.

Aaaaaaaaah what's this? A new chapter? Is that... A new character? And a familiar face too?

I hope nothing breaks out.

Last thing is that I am working on a way to make those first 30 minutes more catching. Right now I can't really think of a way to do so without completely changing the beginning which I am not willing to do.

Enjoy ~

PS. Out of the 36 downloads I have only got feedback from a few people so I encourage everyone to give some if they have it! Thanks. :)
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 05:30:56 AM by Ecut »
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Hi all... Some shitty news for you. :|

My computer crashed -- something to do with the hard drive -- and I have to send it away to get fixed. HP told me that they're uncertain if my work will still be there when I get it back.
If I can't get my stuff back then that's not good because I'd have lost almost a year of work (my external back-up of VT is from September '11) which will set me back a lot. Because of this unfortunate event I have a couple of questions/things to say:
(1) Is there a way that I can decode my demo? I am going to google it anyway but I thought that someone on this forum MAY know of a way to do so. This would be a great help because I'd only lose 2 or so weeks of work as opposed to several months.
(2) If it can't be recovered and I can't decode the demo then I may take this opportunity to do a revamp to Venerable Tales. After a fair amount of thought, as well some critique suggesting it, I may redo how the story unfolds. I would keep the same areas, characters, spells, enemies, general plot, etc., but I would change how everything happens and make it more of a mystery. Thoughts on this? Also, if I do this then I may hire some other people to help with the story-telling and writing.

So yeah, just posted to let you all know what happened and that this project will likely be on hiatus.

eCut ~


EDIT:
Thank god for Modern Algebra for sending me to someone who could help me, as well as the programmer of said decrypter! Yay for not losing a lot of hard work. Thanks so much guys. :)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 04:23:26 AM by Ecut »
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I'm really liking the whole polish of the game. My only gripe is that the sprites look a little bit small compared to the tiles, but I guess that's to be expected if you're using the RTP tilesets. Good luck with this! I'm looking forward to the final product!

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Neat game! :) I'm liking the Fire Emblem-based characters.

Pretty sure I've seen your name around Serenes Forest? :P I was around there for a short time. xD
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:O Comments!!!
I'm really liking the whole polish of the game. My only gripe is that the sprites look a little bit small compared to the tiles, but I guess that's to be expected if you're using the RTP tilesets. Good luck with this! I'm looking forward to the final product!
Thank you. :) I tried to make the small details good 'cause they make such a difference yano?
And yeah, I've heard that one so many times. :( But I am working on it! I am not saying it is set in stone but if all goes according to plan then that problem will be fixed. :P

Neat game! :) I'm liking the Fire Emblem-based characters.
Pretty sure I've seen your name around Serenes Forest? :P I was around there for a short time. xD
Thanks! :)
And yep, you have! That's where I post all ma sprites (or most of them haha xP).

Edit:
I made Venerable Tales a blog! I will post information and updates and stuff more frequently there instead of here(though I will still post stuff here obviously). So if you want to follow the project more then check it out. :)

« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 03:23:10 AM by Ecut »
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moew
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People say the portraits 'remind' them of Fire Emblem but they looks directly lifted off it from what I can tell! Lucia's hair is especially apparent. Good thing Fire Emblem is great, huh :) You character sprites are way, way too tiny though. You don't need to redraw then, just scale them up please! It looks really ridiculous when you're accustomed to the proportions the RTP bring with it and are made to look at such teeny tiny characters. I'll look into your game at a later date when it's a bit updated, it seems cool enough.

Nice to see some Serene's Forest people around here :)
:taco: :taco: :taco:

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People say the portraits 'remind' them of Fire Emblem but they looks directly lifted off it from what I can tell! Lucia's hair is especially apparent. Good thing Fire Emblem is great, huh :)
A good thing indeed! I basically just spliced different mugs to get my designs (to the most part), used that as a base to get my outlines, and then shaded! Super easy, but time consuming. :P Any FE fan will easily be able to tell what came from who but I think the end result works well. :)

Mmm, I know all about the sprites... :( If you check out the Insider (hint hint, go check out the blog ;)) there is a little something something that will fix that issue (depending on whether or not the person ripping the sprites ends up ripping all of the npcs). As for scaling them up, I've tried that but the end result is worse! They look massive compared to everything. XP

But yeah! I hope you enjoy it if you check it out/I am hoping to have another demo out with the new intro+prologue within a couple of months so if you want to wait you'll probably get a (hopefully) better experience. :)
Thanks for your comment. :)
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 08:46:32 PM by Ecut »
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