It’s been a little over a week since we announced our Extra Life Charity Team, and I have to say, I’m a little disappointed by the turnout so far. I’ve decided to take today to talk a bit about my own experiences with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and specifically, the hospital group that I’m choosing to support with my personal page.

A little over seven years ago, my son was born. I didn’t become a father then, I already had a daughter who had been born 5 years before that, but even having done it once doesn’t prepare you for having a newborn in the house again.

Alec was born a wrinkly, but healthy appearing boy. I’m not going to say he was beautiful, cause newborn babies are generally red splotchy things with funny shaped heads, by any objective measurement he was kind of an ugly lump, but all parents are a little delusional about that when one of their own was just born. We took him home the next day, nothing appeared to be wrong, but something was.

He was ravenous all the time. He would eat and eat, but nothing stayed down. While my wife would calm him down, I would clean things up. The smell of sour baby formula permeated about everything. He didn’t gain weight. He looked like an old man, thin and feeble.

I can’t explain to you how frightening this was. Something being wrong with me I can deal with. Something being wrong with my son just filled me with dread. We took him to the local hospital, and they found out what was wrong. He had a small deformity in the connection between his stomach and intestines. He literally could not pass more than a small percentage of his food through his digestive tract, not nearly enough to survive.

Even knowing what was wrong, I was terrified. Just, how small he was. How would he deal with surgery? He was transferred up to Children’s at Scottish Rite. I remember following the ambulance up there. A two hour drive alone. My wife was in the ambulance with Alec, my parents were with my daughter back at their house. I didn’t know what would happen.

I remember filing into his very brightly colored room at Scottish Rite. And the nurses and doctors there, they were so poxitive, so confident. They just radiated this feeling that everything was going to be alright. His surgery went well. He was healthy. He ate. Man he ate so much. He went from frail to chunky. I think we could have rolled him everywhere. He was so happy, too. I’ve never seen a baby smile so much.

We went home. He grew. All that is left of the ordeal is a small scar from the surgery, and the memories. I know that what we went through, though it would still have been deadly without modern medicine, is nothing compared to what other children and parents who went there do. Not every child comes home. Not every child’s condition just requires a single surgery to cure.

But we should do everything we can to make sure they do come home, or at the very least, that they have the care they need for the time they have.

Please, to all our fans, and all the readers of our blog: Join us in trying to help make this year’s Extra Life charity even greater. Even if all you can contribute is a few dollars, that few dollars adds up. Don’t let this opportunity for us to do something really special pass us by.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to me talk about my memories. Hopefully a few of you have been inspired to contribute some to the cause.

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rmvxace102a

Were you excited about the possibility of  new languages for RPG Maker VX Ace? Well wait no more, because RPG Maker VX Ace has just been updated to 1.02a! On top of adding 4 new localizations this update fixes several bugs, makes a few portions of the maker larger and easier to use. The changes in 1.02a are as follows:

  • Bigger Script Box, Icon Selection, Play BGM/SE/ME in Event Commands
  • Event Jitter fix, Screen Shake fix, Star Passability Fix
  • Missing Unicode Characters fix
  • Fixes in the Hint Tool Tip and Database Translation
  • Multilingual! RPG Maker VX Ace 1.02a now supports English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish!

Want to update your copy? If you have the Steam version, it will update automatically through Steam’s Client. For everyone else follow the process below:

  1. Uninstall your current version of RPG Maker VX Ace
  2. Download the newest version from our site.
  3. Install from the new version you just downloaded
  4. Activate using your existing key!

Having any problems updating? Comments on the new version? Join the conversation in the comments section below.

37 comments

FallFestival-Banner_zps6d755a3b

Though it may come as a surprise to some of you, I grew up in a rural southern town with not a lot to going on. As a teenager I once described it as “you see a cow, a horse, a fence, and a barn, and you’ve seen the whole county.” To be fair, there were also chicken houses. Those things really smell by the way.

But one time of year I will always remember was the fall festival! Yes, it pretty much is how you imagine it… though probably a bit smaller, because honestly we really were that tiny. There was a parade that started near where I lived. They lined the horses up in a field next to my house. Unfortunately, this meant I was stepping in things for months afterwords when I went through that field, but hey, horses are cool. The parade ended at the chamber of commerce, where tons of little stands were set up to get your face painted, or buy those little popper things you throw at the ground (or really each other, we were kids, of course we threw them at each other). There was even live music. That I generally hated, because even with my background, I’ve never been too folksy.

So with this time of year coming around again, I don’t really have a Fall Festival to go to. I’ve moved into a small city, and this time of year is more for going to wacky halloween parties than Festivals. So let’s bring the Fall Festivals to the internet!

Contest Rules:

You have a little over 3 weeks. The contest deadline for submissions is the end of November 7th at Midnight GMT. There are only six rules:

  1. You must make a game (I.E. there must be some kind of gameplay)
  2. It must be between 15 minutes and 1 hour long.
  3. It must have a Fall Festival theme.
  4. It must be made in RPG Maker XP, VX, VX Ace, or Lite
  5. It CANNOT be a turn based RPG. It can be action, minigame, or even a visual novel, it just cannot be a turn based RPG.
  6. You must properly credit any materials you use and have the rights to use them.

You will submit your compressed game (do not encrypt the copy you send to me, trust me, I won’t steal anything, I just want to see how you do certain things.) to community@rpgmakerweb.com with the title of “Fall Festival Contest Entry”. Partners/Teams are allowed, but remember: THE PRIZES ARE INDIVIDUAL, WHO GETS WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WILL HAVE TO WORK OUT YOURSELVES.

Tell them about the prizes!

We have some great prizes, and really, one of them is what really brought me back to my childhood days in rural Georgia (the US state, not the Country. Russians have never invaded my homeland). I know some people have seen some of it, but I believe this is the first real public reveal of Celianna’s upcoming resource pack:

so7mThis resource pack will include:

  • Full TileA-E for exterior and interior tiles
  • 4 seasons for the exterior tiles
  • 208 large and small icons
  • 33 crops to grow with 3 growth stages
  • 8 ores to mine
  • 6 tools made in 4 different materials
  • Evented time system
  • Time + health + equipment slot HUD
  • Character sprites
  • Action sprites (using tools) for the main characters
  • Animal sprites
  • 12 different Windowskins to use as pictures
  • Extras for parallax mapping

But let’s get a couple of shot of thems in use (click to enlarge):

samplemap_1_zps36f6a58esamplemap_5_zps8c608995

Awesome right? I got the pleasure of watching her stream the creation of some of these tiles, and in all honesty, even watching, I still have no idea how she does it.

Prize Packages:

1st Place: 1 Copy of the Rural Farm Tiles as soon as they are finished (Possibly before actual Release!) + 1 Copy of any 1 digital item in our store

2nd Place: 1 Copy of the Rural Farm Tiles as soon as they are finished (Possibly before actual Release!) + 1 Resource Pack of your choice

3rd Place: 1 Copy of the Rural Farm Tiles as soon as they are finished (Possibly before actual Release!)

OK, everyone, GET TO MAKING! I want to play some fun games!

Any questions on the rules? Excited about the Rural Farm Tiles? Just want to be general excited? Join us in the conversation below!

 

20 comments

Banner

Hi, everyone. I’m here to talk about something a little different today. No new announcements about our engine. No game/story design advice. No tutorials on how to make cool things in RPG Maker.

Instead, I want to talk about how to make a cool thing in real life. Children every day are afflicted by conditions and illnesses that threaten to cut their life, or just their comfort, unreasonably short. Cancer, birth defects, cystic fibrosis, or just injuries that occur in the normal course of being a kid are just a few of the things that the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals treat, and they do this whether the families can pay or not.

And WE have the opportunity to help. This is a personal project of mine, that I have asked to be let to promote on our official blog. The rest of the RPG Maker Web team felt they couldn’t turn down the offer to provide help. The way we can help is through Extra Life. Extra Life is a charity that combines a love for games, with a love for the children we see everyday, whether they be our own or not. It’s kind of like a Walkathon. If a Walkathon involved playing tons of video games instead of walking. Basically, we get blister’s on our thumbs instead of our feet.

So how can YOU help? Well, the first option is to donate directly to one of our team members. As I’m writing this, I’m the only team member, but I hope to have many more. You can find the team page here:

The Charitable Order of RPG Maker Team Page

and my personal page here:

My Page

The second way you can help is by joining the team and reaching out to your friends, family, and acquaintances to donate to your page. Or you can just join another team, its all for fun and charity, not for competition! I’ll make sure to update this page with links to all the pages of our team members as they come in.

Also, I will be live streaming my 24 hours on November 9th starting at noon EST and ending at noon the next day. You can come watch me as I play RPG Maker games, create things in RPG Maker, or maybe occasionally dip into some other games on my computer! I hope to see plenty of you there, its going to be lonely if no one shows.

Thank you for reading, and please, do what you can to help. All children deserve to get good medical care.

Anyone joining in? What are you going to be playing? Already on another team? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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One of the really cool things about the RPG Maker communities to me has always been the diversity of the members. People from around the world grasp onto our product to achieve their dreams. Through the community I’ve had the pleasure of becoming friends with people from Europe, Asia, South and Central America, Africa, Australia… well pretty much everywhere.

But RPG Maker until now has only been in English and Japanese. True, English is a widespread language, and it is spoken as a second, third, or even fourth language by a very large population of the world, but I think we can do better. That is why I’m happy to announce that soon, RPG Maker will be available in three new languages: French, German, and Spanish. Not only that, but right around the corner are two more translations: Italian and Portuguese.

Five more localizations! These languages are official languages in 63 nations around the world!

Countries where French, Spanish, German, Italian, or Portuguese are an official language. (Note: Some of these countries have multiple official languages)

Note: A portion of these countries have multiple official languages

Let’s talk a little bit about how big that is. Right now, RPG Maker is available in the native language of 457 million people around the world. These five new localizations will allow an additional 819.3 million people to potentially use RPG Maker in their native language, for a total of over one and a quarter BILLION people, nearly 18% of the total population.

Do you speak English as a second language? Is RPG Maker coming out now in your native tongue? Have an idea on what languages we should work on next? Join the conversation below in the comments section.

 

8 comments

Game: Homework Salesman by Diedrupo and Ronove

Summary: Homework Salesman is an extremely well-designed “life simulator” that can entertain players for hours upon hours.

What is your name? What is your quest?

What is your name? What is your quest?

 

This is the second installment of a two-part review for Homework Salesman. In the first part, we got into the basic scenario of the game and the masterful day-to-day system that anchors it. However, there are plenty of other little details to explore. The game’s “life simulator” design gives players a lot of responsibilities to manage. Describing them here risks making the game sound like a lot of work, but one thing the recent history of games in general has shown is that plenty of players don’t mind taking on the commitments of a simulated existence.

As she adventures around the land, heroine Reniat Leminghouse and whichever companions she has with her at the moment have to be careful about how many trinkets and goodies they acquire. At the start, you’re limited to what Reniat can carry on her person and in one storage container. It sounds like a lot, but after a few days of gathering herbs and monster drops, that fills up quickly. There are ways to increase your storage capacity, but they don’t come cheap. Your weapons and armor also take up space and these have to be watched closely. Each of them has a meter representing its durability and each time it’s used to strike an enemy or protect a character, it suffers some slight damage. If it gets too beat up, you need to repair it back in town.

One day out in the plains and I'm a walking arboretum!

One day out in the plains and I’m a walking arboretum!

You can also create new weapons and plenty of other items. Homework Salesman using a simple crafting system that will feel familiar to those who have played a lot of RPG Maker games. It’s easy to learn and dedicated crafters can produce not just weapons or armor, but food, clothes, potions, even miscellaneous items like furniture. There are also enchantments that can be placed on items to make them extra useful.

As you can see, there are a lot of different systems and mechanics in this game, and I haven’t even gone into the detailed friendship systems, the different professions Reniat can master, the effect each day’s weather has on overworld adventuring, the way the battle skills can level up, etc. RPG Maker conventional wisdom says not to overload your game with mechanics or it will become unwieldy and hard for the player to keep track of. This game is a pretty effective argument against that, with a long list of different mechanics that all tie into the goal of evoking someone’s daily life.

How do I know you're not creating a secret registry of adventurers?!

How do I know you’re not creating a secret registry of adventurers?!

Most of the game’s visuals were provided by Ronove of Star Stealing Prince fame. Aside from a few familiar sunflowers, not much of that game’s moody storybook atmosphere has migrated over. Instead, everything looks bright, colorful and lighthearted to match the breezy tone of the game. All the important characters have faces that are full of personality and different emotions (particularly Reniat). The interface also has a few cute little surprises as you navigate it.

I’ve gone on about this game for two articles and over 1,000 words now, and there’s still more I could talk about. If this sort of open-ended adventure is your cup of tea, this game delivers the goods. In particular, I’d recommend users newer to the program check it out. It gives you an impressive demonstration of what RPG Maker is capable of.

So what’s everyone think? What’s your favorite part of the daily routine in Homework Salesman? Any suggestions for balancing a lot of systems? What should we review next? Sound off in the comments.

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Greetings all, and welcome to the completely re-designed RPG Maker Web!

It’s been a week or two since we launched the new site and now that you’ve had some time to check it out we hope you are all enjoying the new look. We’ve been working at this for quite a while and it has taken an amazing team of very talented people in three different countries across the world to present this completely new version of RPG Maker Web. Let’s check out some of the cool new features we’ve implemented!

Header

The first thing you’ll probably notice is that we have a brand new menu along the top of the site. This menu allows for much easier navigation to any page you might be looking for. Simply hover over one of the headings to get a drop-down menu with a list of sub-pages. This not only saves you time, but also looks really spiffy. On the home page you can find the latest news and featured tutorials as always, along with information and links to each of our main programs. About half way down the page you can also find a more visual version of our navigation menu to help you get where you’re going. [click to continue…]

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With today’s release of Joel Steudler’s Survival Horror Music Mega-Pack, we wanted to give you a brief glimpse of the newest graphic pack we’ll be releasing in the near future: the zombie survival graphic pack.

Z_Preview1

Created by Lunarea, this new pack will contain matching tiles, characters, faces and battlers – along with a few surprise bonus pieces. The tiles span over several areas, including a hospital, shelter, science lab and military base. The characters contain some of the modern personas you might find in a zombie game (scientist, policeman, military, etc).

Done in a painted style, the pack should fit well with Modern Day tiles. The characters, battlers and faces are created in a unique style, with plans to expand with more content.

Z_Preview2

Estimated release time is in 2-3 weeks – just in time for Halloween!

Z_Preview3

Thoughts on the pack? Let us know in comments!

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jsbannerand coming soon:

SHMMP_cover

This week, I caught up with the multi-talented Joel Steudler, one of the composers who has created a plethora of music packs for us, to talk a little bit about his projects, with some special insight into his latest creation: the Survival Horror Music Mega-Pack, coming soon!

Welcome Joel, it’s good to be talking with you. I unfortunately haven’t had the chance to talk to you before myself despite all your work with us! Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?

I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led. And through the air. I am him that walks unseen. Wait, no… that’s Bilbo Baggins. I do live on a hill, though. That’s probably as close as I get to being a hobbit. Then again, hobbits have a fondness for crafting things, and I do too. I create both music and art in many genres including sci-fi, fantasy, horror, superhero, and beyond. I’m a fan of videogames, boardgames, card games, and even sometimes games where you throw things outside. Imaginative storytelling is very important to me in whatever media that I am consuming or creating.

Storytelling has always been a big thing for me as well. It’s really one of the reasons I got into RPG Maker, how did you first get into using our program?

I’ve always been interested in making my own games, so I’ve known about RPG Maker for a long while. It wasn’t until this year, though, that the time seemed right to see if the surprisingly large community of developers would enjoy my music.

You’ve done a lot of music for us. It’s one of the few things I knew about you before I started this interview! How did you get involved in composing music, do you have any formal training, or is it all self-taught?

When I was quite young, my aunt gave me a two LP set of the soundtrack for The Empire Strikes Back. That music stayed with me a very long time as I pursued other creative interests (like publishing my comic book, The Rabid Monkey) until in the late 90s, two things happened. First, I got interested in the StarCraft mod scene where all sorts of people were creating cool stories with custom assets using the game’s built-in editor. Second, tools became available that enabled home users to compose music using high-quality computer based instruments. Aside from some guitar and organ lessons, I had no musical training, but I really wanted to see if I could compose music, myself, that sounded any good. I set off making graphics and composing music for StarCraft campaigns, working with all sorts of cool people. I’m self-taught as a composer, mainly learning by composing a whole lot of music.

With teaching yourself, I’m sure there must have been a lot of bumps. When you listen to the first musical pieces you composed, how do you feel about them now?

I don’t listen to my old music very often, but when I do, I can hear some good ideas amid a whole lot of inexperience. Any time an artist is just learning their tools, the product of their work isn’t likely to be up to the standards they achieve when they mature. I was no exception.

Additionally, the technology from back then wasn’t half as good as it is now at producing music that actually sounds nice. It’s comparable to the leap from SVGA graphics to, say, Far Cry… or from Final Fantasy to FFXIII. Of course, the RM audience appreciates the oldschool 8bit and 16bit look. It’s funny, though… chiptunes sound great because they don’t seek to emulate real instruments. They have their own distinct, timeless sound. Music technology went through a sort of awkward phase for about a decade where it was becoming possible to get your computer to sound like actual instruments, but not really. In the last five years, though, the tech has advanced to such a point that it sounds really good. The artistry and skill of a trained musician will always top a computer rendition, but today’s tools can produce exceptionally musical results. That was a bit of a tangent!

So with all that self-taught experience, what all have you worked on in the RPG Maker arena?

My music packs are probably the most visible thing I’ve worked on so far, including the Cinematic Soundtrack pack, Futuristic Atmospheres, the Wild West Variety Pack, the Modern Day Music Mega-Pack, and soon the Survival Horror Music Mega-Pack. I’ve got several more packs in the works, which I’ll tell you a little about later.

I’ve also had the good fortune to work with about a dozen game developers from this very forum, creating original music for them. Most of those projects are as of yet unreleased, but I can mention Labyrinthine Dreams (which just ran a successful Kickstarter) as a game I’m very happy to be associated with. The creators have a very moving story to tell, and the gameplay is interesting and challenging.

Finally, I’ve also been able to stretch my illustration muscles. I’ve been doing cover art for various products available in the store here, which should be showing up soon. Looks like it’s not in use just yet, but you should see new art for Kain’s ‘The Blackheart Power’ and ‘The Nothing Battles’ albums, Thalzons ‘Egyptian Myth Battlers’ pack, and some fun zombie art for the new Survival Horror Music Mega-Pack.

I wasn’t aware that you had worked on the cover arts as well. Do both music and art interest you equally, or do you consider yourself more of one or the other?

Music is my main focus and interest. There was a time when I wanted to be a pro comic book artist, and thought that was what I’d be doing with my life. I derive much more satisfaction from making music, though. I still enjoy working in 3D, creating illustrations, and doing logo design from time to time. I’ve found that if I take too much of a break from music, I am really not happy about it. It’s been really great to have opportunities to do both with RPG Maker, but I’m a composer first and foremost.

So, your latest pack is being released soon, the Survival Horror Music Mega-Pack. How did you go about capturing the feel of the genre with music? What kind of challenges did this present?

Before and during the process of creating the pack, I listened to a lot of horror movie and game scores. Lunarea linked me to quite a few great examples, and I drew from my own knowledge of the genre. I had the opportunity to cover a lot of ground, since the battle, town, dungeon and thematic music all called for different approaches.

I wanted the battle tracks to make you feel scared for your life, to really carry a sharp edge of immediate threat. The dungeon tracks were more ambient and subtle. For the town music I aimed in a bit different of a direction, invoking eerie dread but also at times a hint of beauty and the grim majesty that a deserted city might convey. The themes were the most fun, and the most varied tracks in the pack. Horror doesn’t always have to come from an in-your-face jump scare. It can draw from seemingly simple and innocent like a music box melody that twists and turns into a much more sinister listen. Alternately, horror can just beat you over the head with alarming sounds, so I have one of those, too. I also included a large selection of musical events, short phrases for those jump scare moments or for other creepy happenings.

Finally, the sound effects were a load of fun to make. Cracking eggshells and ripped cabbage turn readily into snapping bones and gutted flesh. Some rotten apples and peaches were quite handy for gory squishes, and the chainsaw sounds came from… a chainsaw! That one was 100% real.

The biggest challenge was just stopping myself from making more and more. This pack was really enjoyable to fill up with crazy, scary sounds. If it goes over well, I’ll definitely do a followup at some point.

With all those projects, which one did you enjoy the most? Was any of them particularly challenging?

I’ve enjoyed each of the projects I’ve worked on since they all pose unique challenges. One thing that I find always keeps me creatively energized is working in different genres frequently. Fortunately, the music that’s been requested of me has been very diverse. I’ve gone from epic fantasy to gothic horror to metal to traditional Asian music and more.

Any hints about things you might have in the works for us in the future?

I have plans for many more music packs, several of which are already underway. I’ve been taking inspiration from classic JRPGs and J-rock for one. I’ll also have two new bargain priced music mini-packs coming out this fall/winter. Lots of recent movies have given me ideas for musical exploration, too, like Oblivion and Elysium. I also have some graphical resources in the works, which are a longer-term project. There’s no shortage of forthcoming material on my hard drive!

Have you been working on anything outside of RPG Maker?

Outside of RM, I compose music for sale through various online library sites and royalty-free stores. I also design instruments for use in various software that you can check out here.

I’m currently working on an instrument bank for the synthesizer Massive, too. I am usually juggling a number of other game music / art projects at any given time.

Outside of your work with music and art, you mention being into a lot of board, card, and other tabletop games. Anything in there you’ve gotten into recently that really grabbed you?

I’m going to cheat a little and say Card Hunter… which, yeah I know it’s a browser based f2p game, but it is a faithfully nostalgic and perfectly crafted emulation of miniature games, CCGs, and D&D. I’ve been playing it a whole lot since late in their beta. But as for real games, the ones that require an hour to set up all the pieces… Eclipse is a recent hit with my gaming group. We’ve had some epic six player games that took all day. In the more traditional German boardgame vein, I also recently enjoyed The Castles of Burgundy, though I’m not sure it’s a classic. Pandemic gets a fair amount of play, too. We also never seem to get tired of Race for the Galaxy, probably because it is so quick and easy to get a few games in.

Though you didn’t ask, I’ll offer that my favorite boardgame of all time is Samurai, particularly with four players. It is kind of like a cross between chess and Go with some luck mixed in. With solid planning and good tactical awareness, though, even the unluckiest tile draws will work out fine.

Thanks for talking with us. As a parting question, do you have any advice for aspiring composers?

My advice for aspiring composers is: take advantage of the incredible tools at your disposal and write lots of music. If you intend to make a career out of composing for media (games, TV, movies) get used to writing a lot of music in a variety of genres at a robust pace. You can compose music without going to school for it, but if you get the chance and can afford it, you would probably benefit from it. That said, everyone learns in different ways, and self-study can be a viable path to take. Either way, dedicate yourself to your craft and stay intellectually curious. Don’t ever assume you know it all. Listen to music in a variety of genres, keep an open mind, and always continue to grow as an artist.

Thanks for the chance to talk to the fans and developers of RPG Maker! I’ve been having a great time making music for all of you so far, and am looking forward to composing even more. It’s been very rewarding getting to know the developers I’ve worked with personally, and to have my music used by those I haven’t had the fortune to meet yet, too.

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Game: Homework Salesman by Diedrupo and Ronove

Summary: Homework Salesman is an extremely well-designed “life simulator” that can entertain players for hours upon hours.

Nothing like kicking back after killing some rabbits.

Nothing like kicking back after killing some rabbits.

The story of Homework Salesman is…well…actually, there isn’t one. At least not the kind you might be used to. It’s got a premise – young adult Reniat Leminghouse returns after ten years at boarding school to find her hometown in economic decline. She begins to work on its behalf while also trying to make a name for herself. If you’re looking for an epic story with complex themes, look elsewhere. The game’s creators describe it as a “life simulator,” modeled after games like Rune Factory and Atelier, and as players start to grasp all the possibilities of Homework Salesman, they’ll see just how accurate that is.

If the Roald Dahl-esque names like Reniat Leminghouse aren’t a clue, the tone of the game is consistently lighthearted. There’s even a few gags referencing people in the RM community. As for Reniat, she’s so consistently unimpressed with her surroundings and neighbors that I was almost expecting McKayla Maroney to pop up as her face graphic. During her adventures, she can travel with a few equally quirky companions, such as the meek little blond boy Eagen or the hapless alcoholic mercenary Xebec. As the days go on, more details about the setting and characters emerge, but in general, you make your own story with this game.

If Xebec can walk through that straight corridor, he might pass the sobriety test.

If Xebec can walk through that straight corridor, he might pass the sobriety test.

The day-to-day system is the heart of this game and, in my opinion, its most impressive mechanic. Anyone who’s ever attempted to pull off a day/night system or some other way to mark the passage of time while allowing for non-linear gameplay knows just how hard this is. Homework Salesman pulls it off and makes it look effortless.

A meter with a percentage is displayed in the upper left corner of the screen. Every action undertaken by the player, whether it’s fighting a monster or picking up a stray herb off the ground, brings that meter down a little bit. When it hits zero, you’ll be too tired to keep adventuring and it will be time to call it a day. As long as you avoid setbacks like losing a battle, which instantly sends you home, each day of the game’s timeline can allow for a lot of adventuring.

Not just a dog, an EMO dog complete with a scarf!

Not just a dog, an EMO dog complete with a scarf!

If you’re not on board for this sort of experience, the days will get tedious fast. However, those who tend to lose themselves in games with a lot of possible activities will feel right at home. I’ve heard anecdotes of people logging over 40 hours into this game and I can believe it. So what takes up all that time? A lot of exploring and quests. You’ll start getting quests almost immediately, beginning with RPG staples like killing a certain amount of monsters or collecting a certain amount of items. The grasslands adjacent to the village allow for easy exploring and when you’re ready for a bigger challenge, venture to the nearby Colorous Cave. This vast dungeon (perhaps too vast, I’m constantly getting lost and turned around in there) features all sorts of surprises.

This is part one of a two-part review. Next time, I’ll get into the art style and the various other mechanics of the game. For now, let’s hear your thoughts. How many hours have you sunk into Homework Salesman? What do you make of its method for handling the passage of time? Sound off in the comments!

3 comments