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  CustomRPG - A fully customizable role playing game!  (Read 5285 times)
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Offline gamedeveloper

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Posted 2014-08-22 14:47:52 »

Hello java gaming members,

After a year of hard work developing my game, I finally have a playable beta version up on our website aivgames.com!



The game has the features:
  - create levels, enemies, gear, moves, etc.
  - play through those maps in the single player mode
The game will have the following features, in later versions:
  - share maps with others through the game
  - play online with other people

Currently the game is functional and working, and it is being sold for 20$ (plus tax)

The last thing that is needed to be done is that I need to market this game to make people aware of its prescence. I have looked a list of useful links (www.pixelprospector.com/the-big-list-of-indie-game-marketing/), particularly the how to contact press article, (https://app.box.com/s/p0ft5zdolpi0ydkrykab), but am at a loss at what sites to contact. So I must ask of the members here:
   - What game sites should I contact about my game?
   - Is there any (other) marketing I could do to increase revenue?

thanks.
Offline trollwarrior1
« Reply #1 - Posted 2014-08-22 15:34:19 »

Ow the troll posts.
Offline gamedeveloper

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #2 - Posted 2014-08-22 15:41:06 »

Ow the troll posts.
I'm sorry..?
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline SHC
« Reply #3 - Posted 2014-08-22 15:47:51 »


Your site is not working. At least no game on it.

Offline gamedeveloper

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #4 - Posted 2014-08-22 15:51:03 »

I forgot, there is no www. prefix for the site. sorry to all who went to the wrong url. (also, when I edit out the www in the original post, it links to www.aivgames.com anyway, even though it is supposed to link to aivgames.com. Anyone know how to fix this?)
Offline SHC
« Reply #5 - Posted 2014-08-22 15:59:28 »

A perfect website should redirect users when they use the deprecated www subdomain. Try adding a CNAME record to your DNS.

Offline gamedeveloper

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #6 - Posted 2014-08-22 16:02:53 »

A perfect website should redirect users when they use the deprecated www subdomain. Try adding a CNAME record to your DNS.
I'm working on that right now.
Offline SHC
« Reply #7 - Posted 2014-08-22 16:09:48 »

And to remove www from link, use

1  
[url=http://aivgames.com]aivgames.com[/url]

Offline gamedeveloper

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #8 - Posted 2014-08-22 17:17:19 »

Alright, I fixed the www thing. www.aivgames.com works now. Thank you SHC for your help.
Offline Rayvolution

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 256
Projects: 2
Exp: 1 year


Resident Crazyman


« Reply #9 - Posted 2014-08-22 17:55:04 »

Unless you spruce up your graphics, I don't think anyone is going to pay for your version of an RPG Maker, when RPG Maker itself with tons of assets, proven capability and a huge community can be had at a for a $25 entry fee.

- Raymond "Rayvolution" Doerr.
Retro-Pixel Castles - Survival Sim/Builder/Roguelike!
LIVE-STREAMING DEVELOPMENT: http://www.twitch.tv/SG_Rayvolution
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline gamedeveloper

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #10 - Posted 2014-08-23 00:00:14 »

Unless you spruce up your graphics, I don't think anyone is going to pay for your version of an RPG Maker, when RPG Maker itself with tons of assets, proven capability and a huge community can be had at a for a $25 entry fee.

rpg maker is 25$?? thought it was like 80$ or something.
Anyway, a few differences:
 - rpg maker has a much higher learning curve, whereas CustomRPG is really easy to learn, especially with our tutorial at http://aivgames.com/crpgtutorials/1.jsp.
 - CustomRPG is marketed as a game, whereas rpg maker is more of a tool to create games.
 - CustomRPG will have built in functionality to upload and download games.
 - CustomRPG will also have ability to play multiplayer with other players.

Also, about 'sprucing up graphics', the graphics such as the rock and grass that you see in the screenshot do not come with the program at all. When you are creating a block, you choose the image file. (The grass and boulder were made by me, and I am a programmer, not an artist, so I hope the quality is excusable for a couple of screenshots).  The buttons are a different matter, they do look bad i admit, but this is the kind of thing that the beta does not focus on at all, and I will perhaps redesign the menu and buttons in later versions.

So the main differences of CustomRPG and RPG maker come down to that CustomRPG is aimed at a different market than RPG maker (customrpg being gamers and RPG maker being people who are a lot more serious about making an rpg)

But thanks for pointing out their similarities. I didn't even think about it from when the product was first imagined through development to beta release.
Offline Rayvolution

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 256
Projects: 2
Exp: 1 year


Resident Crazyman


« Reply #11 - Posted 2014-08-23 00:42:42 »

You're probably thinking of this:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/220700/?snr=1_7_7_151_150_1

But a more basic (or just older?) version is here:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/235900/?snr=1_7_7_151_150_1

But, if you plan on marketing it as a "game", does that mean you will include an actual complete game made with the tools? Maybe I'm misunderstanding this, and this is more like something along the lines of LittleBigPlanet.

Either way though, if you want this to be successful, even in the early beta phases, you're going to have to seriously improve the graphics to give gamers something to work with. I know you claim not to be an artist, but you'll need to be (or find someone). For a concept like this to work (communal game sharing game-thing) you have to basically do all the hard work that requires more skill than button clicking (Graphics, particle systems, AI, map editors, sounds, etc) and just leave the fun "design" aspects up to the gamer playing.

- Raymond "Rayvolution" Doerr.
Retro-Pixel Castles - Survival Sim/Builder/Roguelike!
LIVE-STREAMING DEVELOPMENT: http://www.twitch.tv/SG_Rayvolution
Offline gamedeveloper

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #12 - Posted 2014-08-23 01:02:14 »

You're probably thinking of this:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/220700/?snr=1_7_7_151_150_1

But a more basic (or just older?) version is here:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/235900/?snr=1_7_7_151_150_1

But, if you plan on marketing it as a "game", does that mean you will include an actual complete game made with the tools? Maybe I'm misunderstanding this, and this is more like something along the lines of LittleBigPlanet.

Either way though, if you want this to be successful, even in the early beta phases, you're going to have to seriously improve the graphics to give gamers something to work with. I know you claim not to be an artist, but you'll need to be (or find someone). For a concept like this to work (communal game sharing game-thing) you have to basically do all the hard work that requires more skill than button clicking (Graphics, particle systems, AI, map editors, sounds, etc) and just leave the fun "design" aspects up to the gamer playing.

Yes, I do plan on marketing this as a "game". All level editor as well as single player features are included in the beta version.

A lot of the features that you mention are available in the game as is.

graphics - user selects image to be the texture for blocks and enemies.
particle systems - there are no fancy effects in the beta version.
AI - this is fully automatic, when the gamer creates an enemy, the ai in the enemy is already set up. (it will go toward the player if the player is close enough).
map editors - This in the game. The grid you see in the screenshot is the map editor (to use you click on the block you want to place, then click where on the grid you want the block to be.
sounds - the gamer selects a music track that will play for that level.

As I mentioned before, these level editor features are included with the game. But yes, the beta lacks a ton of polish that other games have. The focus was to get the game out there and make some money.

Not sure what you mean by improving the graphics. Do you mean the gui, or that I should include some block textures with the program??

Another good point you bring up in a previous post is the price. 20$ is not competitively priced, especially for a beta. I will probably lower the price in the future (for the beta at least)
Offline Rayvolution

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 256
Projects: 2
Exp: 1 year


Resident Crazyman


« Reply #13 - Posted 2014-08-23 01:23:27 »

graphics - user selects image to be the texture for blocks and enemies.
Not sure what you mean by improving the graphics. Do you mean the gui, or that I should include some block textures with the program??
My suggestion is to draw hundreds and hundreds of quality tiles they can pick from. (and no, I'm not kidding). Even in the beta phases. If you want to appeal to "gamers" and not "developers" you have to have eye candy. This includes a huge library of custom tiles, images, GUI elements, everything.

AI - this is fully automatic, when the gamer creates an enemy, the ai in the enemy is already set up. (it will go toward the player if the player is close enough).
map editors - This in the game. The grid you see in the screenshot is the map editor (to use you click on the block you want to place, then click where on the grid you want the block to be.

You'll have to go beyond this, you'll have to do something like have a collection of pre-coded "brains" your gamers can select from, else all the mobs will be exactly the same just with different stats and images.

sounds - the gamer selects a music track that will play for that level.

Again, you'll need tons and tons of sound and music assets. Maybe even going as far as doing what LittleBigPlanet did, and have customizable music tracks where you can add and remove parts of the tracks to customize them.

As I mentioned before, these level editor features are included with the game. But yes, the beta lacks a ton of polish that other games have. The focus was to get the game out there and make some money.

This absolutely will not happen until you have a lot more polish and more flexibility in the engine.

I'm not trying to be cruel or discouraging, I'm just giving you the hard facts. If you want to market this as a sellable product you're going to have to step up your game 10 fold. My advice is to offer the game completely for free right now so you can show off the technical aspects of it, and then charge for it later when/if it becomes a marketable product. As of right now, it's not marketable. You should ask yourself something like: "Is this a game I'd see on Steam?" (even if you don't plan on putting it on steam, but it's a good benchmark for minimum standards). If the answer isn't anything other than "absolutely YES!" then you're not ready yet. Smiley

- Raymond "Rayvolution" Doerr.
Retro-Pixel Castles - Survival Sim/Builder/Roguelike!
LIVE-STREAMING DEVELOPMENT: http://www.twitch.tv/SG_Rayvolution
Offline gamedeveloper

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #14 - Posted 2014-08-23 01:43:19 »

This absolutely will not happen until you have a lot more polish and more flexibility in the engine.

I'm not trying to be cruel or discouraging, I'm just giving you the hard facts. If you want to market this as a sellable product you're going to have to step up your game 10 fold. My advice is to offer the game completely for free right now so you can show off the technical aspects of it, and then charge for it later when/if it becomes a marketable product. As of right now, it's not marketable. You should ask yourself something like: "Is this a game I'd see on Steam?" (even if you don't plan on putting it on steam, but it's a good benchmark for minimum standards). If the answer isn't anything other than "absolutely YES!" then you're not ready yet. Smiley

Alright. Thanks for your help then. As for now I will leave the game up, but not market it at all while I work on some more features of the game.
Offline trollwarrior1
« Reply #15 - Posted 2014-08-23 07:12:26 »

It would also probably be a good idea to implement Spine functionality.
Offline gamedeveloper

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #16 - Posted 2014-08-23 13:08:48 »

It would also probably be a good idea to implement Spine functionality.
I am not aware of this 'Spine' functionality. Can you elaborate?
Offline CopyableCougar4
« Reply #17 - Posted 2014-08-23 13:11:18 »

I think he means http://esotericsoftware.com/ but I could be wrong.

CopyableCougar4

Either wandering the forum or programming. Most likely the latter Smiley

Github: http://github.com/CopyableCougar4
Offline gamedeveloper

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #18 - Posted 2014-08-23 13:14:59 »

I think he means http://esotericsoftware.com/ but I could be wrong.

CopyableCougar4
Ah OK. I will look at it.
Offline gamedeveloper

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #19 - Posted 2014-09-23 20:24:14 »

Hello everyone!! There is a demo available now for you to try. Also I have beta version 1.1 available with a couple of bugfixes and new features, so if anyone has the game go ahead and press redownload on the launcher. A new launcher is available for download on the site as well, but it is not mandatory to run the game. The site now has a blog/new section for the homepage instead of a redirect.

Download the demo
Offline gamedeveloper

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #20 - Posted 2014-09-24 19:23:34 »

I would really appreciate feedback on the demo/game. Please either post here or email contact@aivgames.com. Thank you!
Offline seismic

Senior Devvie


Medals: 4
Projects: 1



« Reply #21 - Posted 2014-09-25 12:33:36 »

Ok I tried it...

Well I guess you're looking for any feedback at all, so here it goes:

- No basic tiles, you have to draw everything yourself. Meh.
- Player spawn point was ignored. A bug?
- Map looked different in editor than in the game. Some kind of bug, I guess.
- No pathfinding for enemies. They just walk toward you. Looks retarded when you have an obstacle between mob and player.This needs to be in.
- Combat wouldn't work at all, I pressed attack. Nothing happened. Had to quit. Another bug?
- Visually very unappealing overall.

I understand you put in 1 year of work, but it feels very unfinished/buggy.

Art:
The buttons, the background, the player sprite, everything just looks bad. I know how it feels, I cannot draw myself. My art looks like shit too  Roll Eyes

Good luck.
Offline hwinwuzhere
« Reply #22 - Posted 2014-09-25 12:50:46 »

Alright, I didn't have too much time to actually look at it in depth, but I must agree with seismic on the art. I'm terrible too at art, so you won't hear anything else from me about that. However I can see that you put effort into making something, and I do appreciate a few details you put in such as the abilities you get when adding enemies and tiles. It's very basic, but it's a really nice start.

As I already said: I didn't get too much of a look at it, but I do believe it needs quite a lot more polish. (Fixing bugs, etc.) and perhaps trying to make dialogs more attractive to look at (and maybe a few dialogs less?) Also some actions a user needs to undertake are a bit off.. I feel as if I have to confirm things like 20 times before I can continue (feels a bit like windows Vista).

If you try to make it more user friendly and fix the bugs seismic was talking about (if there are any) it might become more usable.

Hope you can use this Smiley

-hwin

There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data,
Offline Damocles
« Reply #23 - Posted 2014-09-25 14:33:34 »

A suggestion for the "art-part"

If you are not an artist, and dont want/cant affort an artist, and dont want to use free assets:
You have 2 options:

-either create a rendering method, that produces visually appealing art from very simple to create shapes
(like some fake 3D with shadowmapping and particle/bloom effects)
-> so let your technical skills define the art-style


or

-research and play around with a very easy to produce art-style, that you can manage (given your skill) to create
enough assets.


examples:
-  use very low res graphics with a very limited color palette
-  create a voxel renderer and make yourself an editor for it
-  use simple geometric shapes and create nive looking transitions and effects or textures, something of a workflow that you can
do and redo again and again in your graphics editor
-  use a vector drawing program (like inkscape), draw your art roughly as a bitmap and then convert it into vector graphics
(an easy way to create high resolution graphics from a sloppy simple base-drawing)
-> add some effects to it too

anyway, play around with a WORKFLOW that allows you to have a coherent art-style without the need
for a lot of artistic skill.

what you dont want to do is spend lot of time to create a single asset, then realizing you have to do 100 more
thats a grind, and something only pure (paid) artists might enjoy.

here a random example of an isometric scene made from simple geometric shapes and simple textures
You dont need to be an artist to create these shapes (or generate these textures), its more programming skill.

http://pokepetter.deviantart.com/art/Isometric-Game-Concept-181300309



here an example of very low res tiles with a very limited color palette:




a simple drawing, vectorized using inkscape:




this is a good example of creating a nice scene based on your technical skill (without the need to be a big artist)

Offline gamedeveloper

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #24 - Posted 2014-09-25 20:08:10 »

Ok I tried it...

Well I guess you're looking for any feedback at all, so here it goes:

- No basic tiles, you have to draw everything yourself. Meh.
- Player spawn point was ignored. A bug?
- Map looked different in editor than in the game. Some kind of bug, I guess.
- No pathfinding for enemies. They just walk toward you. Looks retarded when you have an obstacle between mob and player.This needs to be in.
- Combat wouldn't work at all, I pressed attack. Nothing happened. Had to quit. Another bug?
- Visually very unappealing overall.

I understand you put in 1 year of work, but it feels very unfinished/buggy.

Art:
The buttons, the background, the player sprite, everything just looks bad. I know how it feels, I cannot draw myself. My art looks like shit too  Roll Eyes

Good luck.

player spawn point was ignored -> It was probably ignored because you opened the map in singleplayer before setting the player spawn point. This causes it to ignore spawn point set in leveleditor because the last location the player was when playing the map is the one used when the map is loaded back up.

So:
creates map
edits map
player map in single player: an x and y position is created for where you are in singleplayer
sets spawn point in level editor: spawn point is ignored because it is loading from the x and y position where you were last in singleplayer, not the spawn point. So you are not 'spawning', but resuming.

Map looked different in game than in map -> I have no idea why this would happen. It works every time I test it.

No pathfinding for enemies -> There is a system for the enemies to go around blocks toward the player. Why this won't work I do not know, but suppose it would bug out if you had a complicated path, because the pathfinding code is rather basic.

Combat won't work at all, I pressed attack, nothing happened. -> This is because you have different moves for each type. You can have different attacks, heals, and buffs. The initial combat screen is just a screen where you select the type of move to use. You need to create attacks, etc. beforehand in the level editor to be able to use them. You likely selected a category, then, in having no moves created for that catagory, tried to switch but that did not work because the category was selected. This is a known bug that the category will select even though there is no moves for that category. I will fix this asap.
A complete tutorial on how to use the game can be found here


Can you send me your map for me to look at the map looking different in game than in map bug and the pathfinding bug?

Thank you.
Offline gamedeveloper

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #25 - Posted 2014-09-25 20:19:39 »

A suggestion for the "art-part"

If you are not an artist, and dont want/cant affort an artist, and dont want to use free assets:
You have 2 options:

Do you know where I could find art that is available for commercial use? I would have used other peoples art a long time ago except that I am afraid of the legal implications that go along with using other peoples stuff. Anyway, thanks for the advice about creating my own art. I don't want to aim for a retro, pixel art look because it seems to me that it is overused a lot when it comes to indie games.
Offline kevglass

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 212
Projects: 24
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #26 - Posted 2014-09-26 08:42:26 »

You're in a sticky place on that one. Even the art that is available for commercial use (at free or small cost) isn't available for re-sale which is effectively what you'd be doing.

Cheers,

Kev

Offline Damocles
« Reply #27 - Posted 2014-09-26 09:55:41 »

I suggest not to spend money on assets yet.
Also, whatever you will find in some (commercial) collections will likely not cover everything you need.
Then you are stuck with aquiering assets (with the same art style) for the missing elements.
This is something where you need an artist. And that would cost.

And then seriously, dont expect to earn money from your project. Its not nearly far enough to be marketable.
(not just because of missing art)
See it as a way to learn skills and enjoy as a hobby.


Also look into creating a little YouTube demonstration for how your project works.
Its better and more entertaining than explaining it with a wall of text.

Offline gamedeveloper

Senior Newbie


Projects: 1



« Reply #28 - Posted 2014-09-26 19:35:44 »

I suggest not to spend money on assets yet.
Also, whatever you will find in some (commercial) collections will likely not cover everything you need.
Then you are stuck with aquiering assets (with the same art style) for the missing elements.
This is something where you need an artist. And that would cost.

And then seriously, dont expect to earn money from your project. Its not nearly far enough to be marketable.
(not just because of missing art)
See it as a way to learn skills and enjoy as a hobby.


Also look into creating a little YouTube demonstration for how your project works.
Its better and more entertaining than explaining it with a wall of text.

I made CustomRPG with the goal of it to earn money. I would be very interested in what you mean by it not being far enough to be marketable, other than the art. What is missing from the game that ruins its marketability?

Are you referring to the tutorials with the statement 'creating a little YouTube demonstration' ? I think the tutorials are very clear and structured well with headings, subtitles and the like, not just a wall of text. How exactly are the tutorials a wall of text?

thank you for the feedback!
Offline Rayvolution

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 256
Projects: 2
Exp: 1 year


Resident Crazyman


« Reply #29 - Posted 2014-09-26 20:12:28 »

I suggest not to spend money on assets yet.
Also, whatever you will find in some (commercial) collections will likely not cover everything you need.
Then you are stuck with aquiering assets (with the same art style) for the missing elements.
This is something where you need an artist. And that would cost.

And then seriously, dont expect to earn money from your project. Its not nearly far enough to be marketable.
(not just because of missing art)
See it as a way to learn skills and enjoy as a hobby.


Also look into creating a little YouTube demonstration for how your project works.
Its better and more entertaining than explaining it with a wall of text.

I made CustomRPG with the goal of it to earn money. I would be very interested in what you mean by it not being far enough to be marketable, other than the art. What is missing from the game that ruins its marketability?

Are you referring to the tutorials with the statement 'creating a little YouTube demonstration' ? I think the tutorials are very clear and structured well with headings, subtitles and the like, not just a wall of text. How exactly are the tutorials a wall of text?

thank you for the feedback!

What people are trying to say in the nicest way possible, is your product just isn't polished enough to be marketable/sold to the general public.

This product has to be sold to a customer, the customer doesn't care you have been working on this a year and they most certainly are not going to say "Well, it's ok he can't draw" they're going to say "HAH! idiot can't can even make a tileset? and he wants WHAT for this? this doesnt even have sound effects?! Whatever!" then go buy RPGMaker. They don't care about your limitations, or your excuses. They will not be understanding... and most importantly, the people using your game won't be real game developers. You can't keep non-serious developers interested in this project unless you have a huge bank of artwork, sounds, music, everything they need. That's just how it goes. I strongly suggest you look at what makes RPG Maker so popular. It's mainly because of the massive amount of raw high quality assets it has included in it, and no matter how much you try to avoid being in competition with them, well tough shit, you are.

I really, really don't mean to sound harsh, I'm just showing you what the perspective will be from a customer's standpoint. Over here at JGO we understand the whole picture a little better than the average person because we're all programmers. Your customers though won't understand.  Undecided

- Raymond "Rayvolution" Doerr.
Retro-Pixel Castles - Survival Sim/Builder/Roguelike!
LIVE-STREAMING DEVELOPMENT: http://www.twitch.tv/SG_Rayvolution
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