April 26th-29th 2013 :: Theme: Minimalism

Ludum Dare 26 — April 26-29th, 2013
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Fantasy RPG #58

by Martze - 48 Hour Compo Entry

This is a minimalist console-style RPG. I have boiled the Console RPG genre down to its core elements.

This is my first game jam.

The game was made with HaxeFlixel. I can compile a standalone Windows version of the game, if there is demand for it.

I made the sound effects with bfxr.

Most of the text is Press Start. The other text on the title screen was written by hand in an image editor.

Making this game was very taxing. I spent nearly every waking hour working on the game. The majority of that was engine code. For some stupid reason, I thought it would be a good idea write a scripting language to encode cutscenes, treasure chests, and random battles. It worked, but I'm hard-pressed to say why I bothered. Toward the end, due to time pressure, I started hardcoding more and more. This is my second major Haxe project and I still don't feel entirely comfortable with the language. Please don't look at the source code; it is a disaster.

Nonetheless, this game is more or less what I envisioned when I started writing code, plus or minus a few details. If I'd had a little more time, I might have added a few more bells and whistles, but the concept is intact. Adding much more to the game would either fundamentally contradict the concept I was going for, or simply constitute filler.

Even minimalist RPGs are very difficult and time-consuming to make! Next time I'm going to make something way simpler.

Arrow Keys - Move
X - Confirm, attack with first party member
C - Menu, attack with second party member
V - Attack with third party member


UPDATE (2013/04/29):

Based on your feedback, I have made the game more difficult!


Downloads and Links




jacklehamster says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 1:01am

Cool! One thing you should add (I know, time is precious but really...), is to actually show that you have a new character within the game, by having the woman follow the hero.

CharlesBoury says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 1:11am

I like your game. It's like FFXIII, but with a better story. Minimalism permited it. You rock.

theomnis says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 3:29am

Totally unique...I'm not sure why there really hasn't been a game that uses this system! Also...RIP Eugene...it was a good fight.

EdoMiyamoto says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:01am

I agree with everyone above, I had a great time :)

VascoF says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:05am

I really liked the combat method! I just think there should be a penalty for pressing an attack key ahead of time, since otherwise I can keep pressing all keys.

artifex says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:15am

This game just flows. Great gameplay. Very good job.

tnovelli says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:17am

Could be the start of a good project... if only combat was at all challenging :)

Suggestion: switch to HTML5 and use JS for scripting.

Martze says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:28am

tnovelli, HaxeFlixel can compile to HTML5 as well.

voxel says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 7:56am

Flawless. Contender for top ten for sure

TheFudster says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:07am

I actually found the combat to be quite boring because there was no way to lose and found myself button mashing just to get through it as fast as I could. But, other than that it was good fun and well done.

orangepascal says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:23am

pretty cool!

lpcustom says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:33am

Like the final fantasy feel and the minimalist theme adherence. Do the hero's have HP?

jhrrsn says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:53am

Good stuff! Like the minimal approach to RPGs. Without any threat of death, however, it became a little bit of a button mashing exercise. Maybe false presses could reset the attack timer, and you lose health gradually over a battle? Something to consider for a future version I hope! Really well done though.

Martze says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:45pm

Errata: No, HaxeFlixel cannot compile to HTML5. Oh well.

adnzzzzZ says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:58pm

Great idea. If you choose to, there are ways to expand it so it's even better (and would be pretty unique too, I think):

* Enemies can also attack;
* Depending on your hero/class the attack should be timed (i.e. a dagger/rogue class should have fast recharge times and deal more damage if the player presses the key at the correct time (like a critical hit));
* Magic or more complex attacks = key sequences, such that the more powerful an attack is the more keys you have to press without messing up or something...

Anyway, this was a great game. Good job!

vgcharlienash says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 7:39pm

I like the black and white RPG style. Reminds me of the old Pokemon games.

Meep says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:12pm

I really love the idea in this. I think it would've been cool if some sort of accuracy with regards to pressing the letter right when the bar fills would affect damage done (Or some way to perform well/poorly to introduce a possibility of losing), but that's just a thought. Overall, really nice work! I loved it. :)

sfernald says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:14pm

Simple graphics yet strangely I really enjoyed this game. Liked making the progress and growing in strength. Do players actually do damage in battle? It didn't seem so.

Overall great effort though. Enjoyed this quite a bit.

whiteravens says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:16pm

Great game, though more varied player choices in battle would make it greater :D

ovenchips says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:23pm

I love these kinds of game. I thought the three-fingered combat system worked really well, although (unless I was awesomely good) it seems like I couldn't die. The rooms near the end were a little to overpopulated with monsters. But apart from that, I loved the style and humour of the game. Even better than Trogdor, the Burninator.

Norritt42 says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:25pm

Grate game but death would add to the feeling of wining :). I like it a lot though!

atraxgames says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:31pm

Reminds me the old gameboy! The overall feeling is very good, but the game is not challenging at all

triplefox says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:49pm

I'm a bit torn by this one. If it were maximally minimal it would just be a walkthrough. But there is something about the pacing of having battles and grinding that makes an RPG feel like it has a sense of progression.

Casino Jack says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:17pm

Nice! Very reminiscent of Adventure on the Atari (only with better graphics)

gilmore606 says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:13pm

Still better gameplay than Bioshock Infinite.

Shigor says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:53pm

As a rule I don't like attempts to minimize the gameplay and reduce it to bare bones, but you're suceeded, good job.

Gilmore606: It would be hard to find a game which would have worse, even in the below average ludum dare games....

sparkleswirl says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:54pm

I think you have a wonderful RPG parody here. Throughout the demon king battle I was like "man I hope he put a final form and cheesy dialogue in there!" and I was not disappointed. Bravo!

jerombd says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 12:12am

If you fix the battle system (make our team non-invincible) the game will be really better! Right now, my favorite elements are the old medieval dialogs, the design of the skeleton and the gauge bar.

TiDitto says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 12:20am

Wish there was BGM as well as a walking animation. Love the no HP and when in the begin you level after every fight! :D

Ray_Mickelino says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 1:20am

This game is great. It was pretty easy, though. Might be good to add some difficulty. Awesome game.

daydalus says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:40am

NIce work, I can tell you spend a good bit of time on this. Fun homage/satire of old-school RPGS, especially the endless grinding of high-HP enemies ;)

Guardian_Bob says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:04am

Locked at the first text screen, bummer.

Martze says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:25am

Hmm, that's a shame. Did you try pressing X? The whole game is keyboard controlled. The first click is only to make sure the game has focus.

If that doesn't work, can you tell me what browser and OS you're on?

Spelchan says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:33am

I think you got the essence of JRPG's there. While I kind of agree that not being able to die detracted from the game experience, it actually is a reflection on how people play these games. I know I am constantly bringing dead characters back to life and restoring saved games when battles go bad.

Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:34am

Nicely done!

Gungnir says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:54am

A perfect expression of minimalist game design, without cutting anything that makes the genre fun. Brilliant work!

cwilloughby says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:03am

The combat was great! I loved the simplicity. Loved the art story, and audio - it all went together well. I agree with VacoF - might be cool to have a penalty for miss clicking. Reminds me of my entry - a rhythm like game. Check it out!

Alphonsus says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:06am

It could be better if the mobs can attack too. But anyhow, awesome game!

TheSheep says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:32am

Congratulations, you managed to capture all the worst features of console role playing games in this entry. A nice art statement, not so much nice game.

Guardian_Bob says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:14pm

Oh, press X? It looked like a close button, so I kept trying to hit it with the mouse. Now I feel stupid, let me try it again.

My Milked Eek says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:27pm

Sure, the theme is minimalism, but an enemy attack should have been included. Still, a fun game.

Husky says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 6:26am

For the good old days lol!!
I like it!
It's like playing a game on Gameboy :p
Good job!

And the woman is so powerful, why did I need to rescue her lol.

Skoggy says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 8:58am

Thy game was cool.

GFM says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 1:44pm

This felt more like a game with simple graphics than an minimalistc RPG...

But, other than that, good job. :)

uncade says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 12:05am

I really thought this was a cool game, I'll try the losable version in a sec, but thought I'd let you know that I think the minimalistic stats and level sharing was pretty neat. Great job!

Milktoast says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 12:24am

Awesome job. This is one of my favorites!!

RobKat says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 3:55pm

That was awesome, played all the way to the end, wanted more. Only shame is it seems like the enemies dont attack you :(

tcstyle says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 8:27pm

Truly a minimal rpg. The fights seems a little random. I like the humor in it.

graytest says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 9:16pm

Very cool, especially once I got more than one person to fight with. Really liked it! Good job.

Royal Railway says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 6:16am

Haha. The personal names of enemies, such as Eugene and Steve, had me laughing. Also, "Nasty". It's fun how the intensity sort of increases as more party members join and the attack buttons have to be swapped between. It is also satisfying when all meters line up and you can press all attack keys at once.

I did run into one bug-like behaviour; if one keeps walking against a wall, thus not moving anywhere, but still holding the arrow key down, random encounters will still occur. This feels a little weird.

I wonder why you wrote "thine" in a few places where it should have been "thy". For the most part it was correct, but in a few places, especially at the beginning of the game, not. "Thy" and "thine" simply correspond to the first person forms with which they rhyme, "my" and "mine". No trickier than that. Your use of these forms, as well as the -th and -st endings, was consistent throughout, though, which is a great bonus, as many people who decide upon using such a conjugation seldom succeed in doing so, for whatever reason.

I wish I had had some music, but the retro sound effects were definitely cozy. Reminded me of my childhood. Very nice.

It seems you did put your idea of minimalism more into comparing it to other RPG games rather than thinking about the concept of minimalism in itself, though. The game was still relatively complex and the minimalism seemed to lie more within the assets rather than the game itself. However, you did impose a good sense of minimalism into the battle system. One button, and the enemies didn't even fight back. I do agree with VascoF, that in a full-fledged system, pressing at the wrong time should have been a bad thing. That would've made it lots of fun.

May 7, 2013 @ 4:40pm

Very old-schoolish, I like it. But I didn't get the combat system, can I actually die here? :)

lasergans says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 6:55pm

I like the text/story :)
Has a bit of Evoland.
BGM would fit good.

MinionStudios says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 10:26pm

Super simple and a joy to play! BRAVO

Jeremias says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 3:35pm

I played through it. I just wonder why enemies don't attack. Is there any penalty not to push the attack buttons at the right time? Congratulations for your first game jam! :D

ethankennerly says ...
May 12, 2013 @ 9:35pm

Encountering a skelly interested me. If you continue to develop this, during the fight I saw no other option than to press X to attack. Maybe later encounters get more interesting.

euske says ...
May 15, 2013 @ 3:45pm

Need health.

Sebastian says ...
May 19, 2013 @ 1:38pm

Combat is a tad one sided, but the narrative is hilarious. Good job on implementing such a complex system in such a short amount of time!

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