Alrighty I finished the two chapter demo released and I’ve a few things to say.
This chapter is very empty and easy, right off the bat the wyvern lord is so busted that he can easily just solo the map in 2-3 turns, and the village can’t be visited.
I’d recommend sizing down the map by a bit, making the one chapter Jagen something other than a WL or add archers that can deal significant damage to him to keep them in check.
I’d also recommend adding a bit more terrain, the map feels really empty and there’s not really much in the way of strategy save for checking enemy ranges.
Nothing to say here bc this isn’t a chapter other than having to ask what compelled you to use what appears to be glitched tiles in the house?
the ones right by the stairs, they look to be glitched village tiles. If you were going for rubble there’s probably better ways to achieve that.
There is genuinely no point to the preps in this map, you have no money and no items from the previous map should be traded around.
Overall it was okay, the two thieves showing up was a weird decision from a gameplay standpoint, and they can’t really do much since it’s easy for them to be surrounded.
The warrior boss being on the seize point can be assumed but the tile he’s on isn’t called ‘podium’ so that may lead to confusion. Also, you can send the player to the title screen by using the event for that in the end event and setting it to 1.
I’ll be very plain here, the writing is pretty bad.
The concepts presented are decent enough, having the cool Jagen be kidnapped is a good way to make the player dislike the villain.
The problem comes down to the general way the characters speak, it feels very stunted and doesn’t sound natural at all. Along with that the characters don’t really have personalities or have their own way of speaking, all of their dialogue comes out very flat and unnatural. To give an example of unnatural character writing, when the Jagen gets kidnapped it’s not Arland who says “NOOO” it’s the fighter who has just recently met the Jagen, there’s not nearly enough dialogue between the two of them (or even at all) to make it believable that the fighter would be saying this over Arland.
The characters also speak actions? This doesn’t come off as natural in a game form at all, these kinds of descriptors like draws sword can be assumed by character dialogue and reactions to that character, I generally recommend you take these out.
Finally there are two characters who don’t get any dialogue at all, this is problematic because it fails to give us a reason beyond gameplay achievements to like these characters, making them no better than the generic unit from the DS games or Fates.
I recommend reading up on writing advice and practicing more, I’m not the best one to ask since I’m nowhere near a professional level of writing myself. There are plenty of resources here on FEU or just for writing in general.
Let’s start with the portraits. To be quite honest, most are legitimately kind of painful to look at.
I’m not an expert on portrait making but just by going off of what I know the colors used for the palettes don’t work at all. I’ll use the fighter dude’s portrait for this (doesn’t look much like a fighter btw) to demonstrate what I mean, this generally applies to most characters who have are palette swaps, notable exception being Arland himself.
Starting with the hair, the plain white does not look good at all, generally pure black and pure white won’t look to great along with overly bright and saturated colors, they just stand out too much. To keep the feeling of white hair let’s stay with a light gray color
Already looking a bit better and easy on the eyes but the hair still doesn’t look right, the hair doesn’t fade into darker colors very well, generally with things like hair and clothing you want to darken the outer shades to make it look generally better, I’m not the best at explaining things like this so if you want a more concise guide I’d suggest looking for one.
Now the hair’s looking good, the same general problem can be applied to the clothing so let’s change that up a bit (you seemed to have messed up the palette order of the portrait’s colors somehow, I used Ephraim’s portrait from here on since it’s easier to read for me and the fighter’s portrait is a recolor of this one.
and here it is, with a few simple edits the portrait now looks much more in line with FE portrait colors and is easier on the eyes, feel free to use this recolor if you feel so inclined.
Generally the same thing with the portraits can be applied to the animation palettes, most look pretty bad and are hard on the eyes, the same steps can be applied to the animation palettes.
Finally the map look, overall the maps just don’t use the tiles correctly.
Using chapter 0 as an example.
the road and forests look very unnatural and out of place, along with that, the villages aren’t connected to the road in any way. The easiest way to solve this is to use ‘transition’ tiles such as these ones for the roads
these tiles have grass transitioning into the road tile, making the tiles clash much less against each other.
with this the roads fit in much more, although it still has some problems, mainly it’s just too straight. This isn’t a perfect concrete road, there should be some more weathered and twisted parts of the road
the roads definitely look more natural with this but the map still feels off, this is likely due to the forests and general lack emptiness of the map.
The forests spread out are fine, they feel natural enough to not stand out and work, the lines and clumps however look unnatural, real forests aren’t in strait lines that suddenly cut off (unless they’re on the Canada and USA border) so they look unnatural.
The emptiness of the map comes most likely from the general lack of things around, whether they be villages, armories/shops, paths around the center of the map, or buildings. Let’s fix that without taking away from the map’s main ‘‘flow’’
and here it is, now it’s looking much more like a town and feels less empty. It still doesn’t look the best mostly because the maps general flow and identity doesn’t lend itself well to maps that aren’t empty imo, it has some of the same problems as a lot of Birthright maps.
I didn’t know where to put this so I’ll just stick it here, I really like the music choices… past the first cutscene, lots of really nice sounding custom tracks!
Overall I didn’t have a great time with this one but it’s overflowing with potential, there’s a lot of concepts in the story that can work if better written (the unique keywords for stats shows this well, along with the general key events that play out.), and the two maps aren’t inherently super flawed, with a bit of work I can see this hack being a fun time! I’ll be sure to keep following this hack’s progress and best of luck to you!