Also, I somehow forgot to give 16x a win condition. That’s been fixed now.
Alright, I’m posting this after having played uh, 5 chapters? Since chapters 5 and 6 have issues.
First, the gamebreaking things. Chapter 5 can’t be played, as when you stop on the dirt tile to open the storehouse, the game plays this dialogue and immediately goes to chapter 6.
Secondly, Chapter 6 is unplayable. First of all, the map has no enemies on it.
Then, there’s the problem of crashing. When I moved a unit into approximately this space, some dialogue played and the game completely crashed, rendering me unable to progress further.
Next, I guess I’ll go over story? I’m not a story guy at all, but I did read all the dialogue.
Overall I didn’t think it was offensive or anything, but I was a bit confused near the beginning, but you do a good job of getting the player to understand what the general gist is without having too much infodump up front. However, I feel like there is context missing, which you provided some of in the post, but isn’t in the game. Overall it feels very simple, just going from place to place, which is fine. I’m assuming there’s more going on later. Looking forward to that.
Here’s my overview for each chapter.
I really disliked this map, as it feels very much like a reskin of the Lyn mode prologue. I understand why it might be like this, but most people playing hacks are more experienced, and thus don’t need anything like it. I just sat on the forest for turn 1 then went and sat on the other forest to kill the boss. In the end, I think you’re intending for some stuff to happen that doesn’t, since the dialogue with the protagonist talking to the green soldier abrupbtly cuts off with nothing happening (I assume she kills him). I’d recommend cutting this chapter entirely, since you could just summarize it in chapter 2 or 3 and there’d not be much lost.
I’m glad to be getting a few more units here, but the map is again laid out in a way that’s a bit too simple in my opinion. I noticed it’s still 2x effectiveness, which isn’t a problem for the archer here, but should still just be changed. However, for the soldier, I was really surprised that he seemed almost useless on this chapter, especially seeing as the lancereaver cav really destroys him. Might want to consider changing that.
I also expected the boss to move, as they were a pegasus knight. I believe there should be something that allows you to display stationary AI when checking enemy ranges, so consider installing that. Though personally, I’d just have the boss here move, as it’d make the map more interesting.
I’m a big fan of an early cave chapter as an idea, but the execution here leaves something to be desired.
There are a couple major problems here that I don’t think are too difficult to sort out. The first I’d say would be the fact that the map is not terribly interesting to navigate, as the entire thing is a 1-3 tile corridor, where I’m mostly just putting Valeria to the front since she one rounds most things and there are no lance enemies to be afraid of. I think the soldier is much better utilised here though, since his defense is nice to have. The layout is just a bit uninteresting.
The second problem I have is something that is a bit controversial, but I’ll throw it out there for you. I think you should have more units here, since having three units feels very boring to play with at this point in the game. Of course, it works for how the map is set up, but the tight corridor setup is not the best, as I mentioned.
The boss of this chapter also has the same mug as the previous chapter, not sure if same name, but that might be an error?
Overall, I think the map has potential and I am looking forward to seeing how it looks in the future.
First off, you want to clarify the objective. Escape has had many different incarnations throughout the series and romhacks, so I’d advise system text indicating that it’s functionally identical to seize.
This map is definitely very unique, with a section for shopping and a combat section. However, there’s a bug with it, where if you move a unit into where one of the red units is supposed to be, they will be moved along with the rest of the red units, which resulted in this for me.
I had to reset the map because of this, so you’d probably want to be moving the units by ID instead of position.
Then, onto the premise of the map. The part for shopping is nice, but the map doesn’t provide a clear indicator of where or when the enemies will show up, and there is no convoy, which shouldn’t be happening. I don’t know if this is intentional, but there’s no reason not to have a convoy at this point. I am glad to have two new units here, and they’re both decent. However, I don’t think either of them have a vulnerary? So now I have to go back to the store to get them vulns and the girl a thunder tome. I don’t know how you’d avoid this to be honest, but it feels strange.
Then, the combat part of the map.
This area is far too open to be interesting, in my opinion. Put some walls and forests here and there and make sure the enemy formations acommodate for them. Like I said earlier, the enemies showing up kinda catches the player off guard, so if they’re in a disadvantageous spot when the enemies spawn, they’ll probably have to reset. In addition, the captain appears a bit too late, I think. The player is told that the pirate wants to speak to the captain, but the captain isn’t visible till one turn later, which confused me.
The main problem here is just conveyance, and with that addressed, this unique map would be great to play, I think.
Oh, and on the writing side, Louis spells his name wrong.
Just an aesthetic thing, the color of the castle is very strange and a bit too light overall, I think. I thought it was fog at first, haha. It doesn’t affect the gameplay whatsoever though, so lower priority.
Right off the bat, the enemies don’t actually appear until turn 3, I believe? It’s later into the map, and I don’t know why. The boss also doesn’t show up at all.
During the entire map, I only had to move my units once, since the green units took care of almost everything. If I’d gotten a bit luckier, I might not have needed to move my units at all. This also results in the enemy and green unit phases being extremely long, since there are just so many enemies and green units fighting. The map doesn’t need to be this big with the amount of player units you have, so making it a bit smaller while also reducing the density of enemies and amount of green units would help.
The reason I didn’t move at all are twofold, the first being that there was nothing that made me want to move. If there was a chest to loot or something, or the boss showed up with a droppable item, I’d want to fan out more. The second reason was just that the green units were more than capable of doing everything themselves, and there were too many enemies for my units to handle anyways, so it’s just easier to sit in the initial room.
I like the idea of being on the side of bandits and having green bandits fighting alongside you, so definitely keep that, whatever you do. Just tweak the map a bit.
And that’s it, since I didn’t get to play chapters 5 and 6 properly. Whatever I said here, I want to let you know that I don’t hate the hack or anything, and I’d like to see it improved.
Also, I believe the reason you haven’t been getting any posts in the thread is because you haven’t been replying to it regularly, yes. Without replying to the thread, it gets buried and no one really sees that, so you should be doing it more often.
Wish you the best on your future endeavours! I’d love to give the hack another try once chapter 6 is fixed.
Thanks so much for the feedback! I’ll look into the problems with Chapters 5 and 6 as soon as I have time!
I actually can’t really get rid of the Prologue chapter that easily. As simple as it seems, the events that happen there are actually important to Chapters 11-14. (Also, about it being a Lyn mode reskin… It literally is. It’s the first map I ever made, and I didn’t know what I was doing, so I took the safe route. I’ll definitely go back and upgrade the earlier maps at some point.)
…I thought I’d fixed all the times I called him “Lewis”. There used to be a lot of that. Looks like I missed one.
BTW, how do I change the effectiveness from 2x to something higher? I’ve wanted to do that, but I don’t know how.
…I don’t know enough about how romhacking works to understand this at a glance, but I’ll do my best!
I’m trying to solve the problems you had with Chapters 5 and 6, but I can’t replicate the problem, for some reason. Any idea why that might be, or what I can do about it?
For chapter 5, I used the archer to stand in front of the place, and for chapter 6, I used the thief. I’m not sure what other information I could give you to help. Looking in builder, I don’t see anything causing it either, so it might have just been an anomaly? I don’t really know, sorry.
edit: what emulator are you using? it might be an issue with that.
I’m working with FEBuilderGBA, and playtesting in VisualBoyAdvance.
That explains it. Using VBA will let some glitches pass by that occur on the more hardware accurate mGBA emulator I’m using. Not sure what the fix is, though.
I’ve done a bit of testing with a more hardware-accurate emulator. Not only are all the issues you pointed out (minus “Lewis” and some sub-par map design) showing up here, there’s actually some enemies that are flat-out refusing to spawn, such as a second cavalier in Chapter 2, an armor knight in Chapter 3, and the first wave of enemies- including the boss- in Chapter 4.
It seems something like VBA may be needed to play this, at least until I figure out how the hell these bugs work.
Having not looked at the hack in builder, I will say that I’ve played another FE7 hack where certain reinforcements did not load on non-VBA emulators, and the issue was that
this load command was used (and failed)
and when it was changed to this load command:
the error was resolved, at least in my playtesting.
I’m not particularly familiar with FE7 hacking (it’s somewhat of a dying trend, heh), but I think it’s worth taking a look at.
I’ve definitely used that command a bunch, so I’ll look into it.
EDIT: Okay, so I’ve subbed out all the instances of loading units without “If Player Unit, Join your party” in the first 6 chapters. I haven’t tested whether it solves the Chapter 5 issue of playing the end event early, but it seems to have fixed all the other errors, as far as I can tell!
EDIT #2: Seems the Chapter 5 error was fixed too! You’re a freaking lifesaver!
Thanks to some advice from @knabepicer, the errors seem to be fixed! I’ve put up a new patch (v.06.3) that should have everything working as intended!
@Relic brought to my attention that playing this hack on emulators more hardware-accurate emulators can cause problems. However, thanks to some advice from @knabepicer, I’ve been able to identify the errors, and (hopefully) get them all fixed! A new patch (v.06.3) is now up that has these fixes.
Hey, I just finished chapters 5 and 6, and encountered another issue with the game crashing.
I believe the issue here is that you’re trying to move a unit “Ema” without her existing.
Gameplay roundup for chapters 5 and 6:
The tileset on this chapter is not pleasant to look at visually, I like the idea of the teal floors but I don’t think it works very well.
Onto gameplay, the big issue here is the thief versus the amount of doors/chests. Because there are 0 door/chest keys and you have one thief, the rest of your army basically has to do nothing for several turns as you go around and collect each chest and unlock each door. Either remove some of these or add in several door keys to fix the problem. There’s probably a few doors that could be removed, though.
Secondly, there’s just way too much poison on this map. Poison is a very bad status as it does almost nothing to the player but waste their time, and the light tomes having poison feels very pointless on the player side as enemies usually are dead very soon after using it. I get why the light brands and light tomes are poisonous, I think, but it’s not necessary and should be removed.
Related to the chests, the lack of a convoy really really really hurts here, there’s just so much stuff you get from the chests + any shopping done in chapter 3. I really think there needs to be a supply available by this point in the game, as well as probably introducing preps. Again I got stuck on ch6 so I don’t know if preps comes later, but it should come around chapter 5 at the latest, and probably earlier.
This works as intended for the most part, but the map is still relatively empty. There are around 6 enemies standing in your path to the end, plus some cavs that gain ground on you over time, but it’s not enough to make the map really engaging, since all I’m doing most turns is moving my units and hitting end turn. The paladin boss shouldn’t be triggered by a range event, but a turn event, as well. And again, the chapter crashes after you beat it.
Sorry if again it seemed too negative, but the issues here are pretty simple and I’m confident these chapters can be fixed easily by you.
In addition, I had an idea that you could turn the first chapter into a cutscene, if you don’t want to remove it entirely.
Once again good luck on the hacking, and maybe look for a few more bugs like the ones I encountered before updating again, haha. I’m looking forward to playing more.
Ugh, I can’t believe I missed that one at the end of Chapter 6. (Also, how the hell did I tell it to move Ema?! I hadn’t even thought her up at the time I made that chapter!)
Anyway, I’m going to play through the entire hack again to try and make sure I’ve caught everything.
I think with v.06.4, I’ve finally ironed out all the bugs. Except for Oscar and Elaine’s stats from Valeria’s story not transferring over. Which thankfully doesn’t make the game unplayable, so I’m leaving that as-is for now.
Hey, I’m gonna make another post. I know it’s a bit early, but I’ve put down the hack for now and I thought it’d be a good time.
No gamebreaking bugs this time! I encountered 0 crashes, so that’s great.
For reference, I played chapters 7-9 this time.
Again not much to say here, I wasn’t expecting the general dude to actually join you as a blue unit lol. Otherwise seems fine, but it seems like you are shoehorning more characters into some convos than there needs to be, and it doesn’t really add to it. Specifically, the end event of 7 was where I felt this the most.
I will preface this section with something that I don’t think is negotiable:
There has to be a supply by the time you get to this chapter. It’s not negotiable. In addition, a preps armory or something needs to be available, since I was running low on a bunch of weapon uses by this point. I don’t know how that’ll work with how the hack is set up, since you’ve said this beginning part is like the lyn mode, but you shouldn’t be handning out so many items with no convoy.
This is where a problem the hack already had gets much worse, which is that this map is just WAY too big. There’s no reason for the map to be this big, and the enemies are really spaced out. I will most likely mention this again in the other chapters, but it’s also present in 6. These maps can be shrunk down signifcantly with no loss. The huge maps also result in enemies being spread out wayyy too sparsely.
Then, there’s the general you get here. He’s completely broken, which I’m not really that opposed to, honestly, but he could be toned down. I understand that he’s temporary though so not necessary. The real problem here is with how the enemies were treated presumably in the context of the general.
Every enemy does ridiculous damage to your units compared to previous chapters, and it just forces you to solo with the general, cause he’s the only one who actually has the capacity to handle them. It looks like you want me to split, but there’s no incentive, so I just looped around one side to grab all the chests. Again, the supply problem hits really hard here, since all my guys’ inventories were basically full so I had to sit around doing a bunch of inventory shuffling and it was not engaging.
I think I lost the monk on this chapter, and I didn’t reset for him because a fighter one hit him with a handaxe, which is ridiculous. I know I should be checking my stats but I wanted to use units that weren’t the general, and I got punished for that. The boss also has much of the same problem as the rest of the enemies, and in addition has extremely high avoid and defenses. Otherwise I like the concept of the chapter as taking place in a temple.
Bug note, the boss’s battle quote has this person in it, instead of the general who I assume is supposed to be there.
Not a bug, but Louis can’t use the axereaver he gets from the talk here, which feels bad. I don’t really understand why he has such a low weapon rank in the first place when everyone else has C+ at base.
The premise of this chapter is cool, accidentally stumbling into the dark god’s lair and being attacked by basically zombies. However, the way this translates to gameplay makes it thoroughly unpleasant to play.
Most of my units have low resistance, and the ones that don’t are the monk and shaman, which is fine. The problem comes in that every enemy on this map is 1-2 range and deals magic damage. The general can solo one side and the teleporting boss, of course, but the shamans will pile up on any other side, because there’s no reliable way to take them out fast enough. I ended up having to sit there as I healed the shaman and monk and they blocked off the shamans, which wasn’t very interesting. I’d advise having some sort of enemy variety here, changing some to bonewalkers or revenants or whatever you want. Once again, the map is far too big.
I appreciate that every enemy charges somewhat, but it makes me want to just stay in the top portion of the map and kill them as they come to me, which isn’t very engaging.
I also realised here that every unit is on casual mode, essentially. Is that intended? I don’t think it should necessarily be removed, but I was wondering.
This one is a doozy. First off, the objective is Survive with no turn timer, which terrified me. I had no idea what was happening, or if I could win at all. Obviously I was able to beat the map, but it’s super unclear what exactly you’re supposed to do. I think I was stuck waiting 15 turns for something to happen? Not sure.
Those 15 turns are extremely uneventful and not great, since all I’m doing is plugging 3 1-tile chokes with decent units who can dodge/tank well enough for my purposes. However, before you change this, consider that the enemy density is far too high for that to stay the same if this is changed.
I actually broke a couple weapons waiting for the hero guy to show up, which at least freed up some inventory space, I suppose. Then once he does show up, it’s just more of the same getting him to where he needs to be. Initially I put him inside the fort, cause I thought he had to talk to someone. When I saw he didn’t have to, I then moved on to trying to kill the boss, which I wasn’t sure whether it would work. This part, while a bit more engaging, is still boring, as it is moving this broken unit from one side of the map to another and have him win the game for you. I get that he is supposed to be a really strong guy, but it’s a bit excessive how broken he is, and I don’t like that the bosses are meant to be handled only by the broken units. If they can be defeated without them, then it’s probably much too difficult to even bother.
I like how the opening subverts your expectations when you’re expecting to go through a cave map, then the earthquake happens and your party has to do something else. Cool stuff.
However, the actual map is quite boring. Again, it’s far too large, and I didn’t really want to bother with playing it, so I sent up the broken hero and he took care of the map completely. From a cursory glance, though, and it seems like there’s not much incentive to split or do anything interesting, since there is no side objectives.
There’s an issue I think needs to be addressed, though, and that’s how the map behaves going from preps to starting it. In preps you don’t have any sort of view of the map, you can’t make character placements or, well, prepare for what’s coming up. I get why you do this, but it shouldn’t be happening.
I didn’t play this map, but I took a look at it, it’s ridiculously big. I really did want to keep playing, but seeing how massive the map is when all my units are 5 mov except the op hero dude, and the enemy placement feeling very strange, I had to put down the hack. My advice is to make the hero guy not playable here, I don’t know how you’d justify it, maybe he gets an injury and has to lay low or whatever, and shrink this map a ton. Most of the space is unnecessary and there’s too many enemies for how many units I have, I think.
I understand the want for a climactic showdown to have a large map, but it’s too much. You can probably keep it larger in context of your other maps if they’re also shrunk down appropriately with it working well. Most of the space in a lot of these maps goes largely unused, so it won’t be too much of a loss.
I hope that this stuff can help you improve your hack, and I’m looking forward to trying it again, maybe restarting from the very beginning! I’m really sorry about not being able to continue forward, but in this state I just wasn’t having very much fun. However, I think the ideas presented here are really strong, and it’s clear all you need is a lot of polish and refinement. I’d be open to helping in any way I can, whether it’s more playtesting, or maybe some simple sprites, or whatever. Just contact me via discord, since I believe you’re also on the FEU discord.
Once again best of luck!
Wait, does Louis not have C-Rank lances? He didn’t originally, but I thought I changed that a month or two ago. I guess I forgot to save when I made that change? (Also yeah, that’s not the right portrait. I must’ve changed where the data for certain units was stored at one point or another.)
I’ve found that using Dianne and the walls to your advantage can make the enemy units not too difficult to handle on one side. (Also, not importing the monster classes from Sacred Stones is a deliberate choice. Their minds have deteriorated, but they are still living, breathing people.)
There is a story reason that Edrick’s as broken as he is. And leaving the player unsure of how to win is intentional, though I should probably be a little less vague. I should probably reduce the turn count a bit, though. Waiting 9 turns for Edrick to spawn is a bit too much. (Also, did I seriously forget to write a Talk conversation between Edrick and Valeria? I did, didn’t I. I’ll have to add one in. Maybe that can be how I make the objective clear.)
Yeah… I’m not really gonna make excuses here. This one suffers from “I’m too excited to make Chapter 10 and too frustrated with getting the cool cave thing working right to want to give this chapter enough time to make it good”-itus. I’m honestly considering removing it entirely. (If I really wanted an excuse, I could probably go with something like “It’s a breather chapter”, but that’d be lame.)
Thanks so much for playing as far as you did! The feedback you gave will be a great help with polishing things up! I’m sorry that my early chapters are so bad. I’d like to think the newer ones are actually pretty decent, now that I’ve had time to learn how things work (and finally give the player a Convoy), but I don’t blame you for wanting to stop where you did. You’ve been a big help, and I’m grateful that you played so much of the hack!
I did this
dianne died lol she’s very frail
And on the monster classes, that’s fine, I guess, but every enemy being a shaman is still pretty bad imo. You can probably justify them being in different classes.
I get it, but it’s a bit much lol. I don’t think it’s really an issue here since he comes so late and is only available for a little while, but in ch9 it was obviously an issue. I assume it’ll be one in ch10 as well.
I get the idea of wanting the player to not know quite what to do but it’s something that is unacceptable imo. Clarifying it more and pulling his spawn back would be nice, but you should really just cut out the middleman and make what is meant to be done obvious. Stuff like not conveying to the player what they need to do looks pretty bad, and I think most people would probably give up halfway through the time before Edrick shows up since the game is just telling you to wait, which isn’t engaging at all. The dialogue cues about him coming are nice but it doesn’t really tell me when he’s coming or if he will show up at all, and then when he shows up as a blue unit the objective still doesn’t change, etc etc. I know the feeling of how as a creator something can feel very cool, but I think it’s a sacrifice worth making for the experience.
I think this is the right move honestly.
It was no problem! It’s been a while since i tested a hack so it was nice to get back into it, and I’m very excited to see where it goes. Maybe if the later chapters are so much better, I’ll hack past ch10 and play the rest of the hack from there or something.