Category Archives: Software

This category is for Software we’ve reviewed for PC. These Software  reviews are listed in chronological order, and if you’re looking for a particular article please use the search bar at the top of the screen.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about our reviews, be sure to message us on our contact page or email the author and we’ll be more than happy to discuss our viewpoints.

It should also be pointed out that this area doubles as an archive, so reviews may go back quite a bit.

Tech Review: Facerig

review-facerigFacerig is a very unusual program where you can actually have a lot of fun. So much fun in fact, That I have literally spent a few hours alone on it, just talking to myself and learning the software so I can make some funny videos later.

However, I’ve found a few notable problems with the software and after a quick Google search I’ve learned that they are either still working on fixing them, or that the developers have stopped caring about fixing them.20131215151557-FaceRig_alpha-stage_03_-_Copy

When I first tried recording with the software, I was met with a loud hissing and static noise that made it impossible to hear my own voice. The problem was that the software doesn’t auto-detect your microphone/headset, rather it sets its own default (even if it’s disabled). This was odd, but regardless I set it to my headset and moved on. But even after doing that, recording with FRAPS was also pointless because it still detected the audio input according to the earlier settings.

But after trying LoiLo I was finally able to clear up the audio for recording and it was pretty great. I really enjoyed it overall, however after restarting the program I found out that the software does not save all of your settings and you must manually reset your microphone and headset each and every time you want to use the software.FaceRig Games

Now this is what I meant by the developers not fixing the issue yet after a quick Google search I learned that this has been a persistent problem for the software and even after a year you think they would fix it but they haven’t so far.

But let us move on to the actual software, it does have a lot of variation and once you do get your webcam working and microphone working for lipsync the animations you can do are incredible, however this all goes without saying that you got to make sure its all probably being detected by the software each and every time you use it.

Their exporting feature also for video and audio is a little disappointing which is the reason why I am relying heavily on using Loilo or FRAPS for the software to get better results, they even have a green screen feature for the software which is amazing for editing the images into other videos but if you are using AVS or other software it won’t be as good as you would hope.maxresdefault

All in all by its own right the software is remarkably fun and I have literally killed a bunch of time on it and the bugs I have encountered although widely known has not stopped people such as myself and others from using it.

I recommend you pick up the software and give it a try sometime it’s really amazing.

-Daniel Clatworthy-

Haven Review: RPG Maker MV

First up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

RPG Maker MV is a software that has been used to make many great titles such as To the MoonA Bird’s Story and various others. It’s had a good run on Steam Greenlight as well, along with a lot of half-baked indie titles that many “designers” have put zero effort into making. You know who I’m talking about.carousel-logo-rpg-maker-mvBut despite all this, the software remains as versatile as ever with its newest iteration to replace RPG Maker VX Ace. The previous version has actually helped us start a project for our very first game called Chronicles: Heroes of the First Light and has been easy to learn. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s so simple a child could use it (as they advertise).

However RPG Maker VX Ace has been outdated for a while now, and has been limited by an old coding language called Ruby. A big issue is the platform. It’s strictly for Windows; no support for any other platform including mobile gaming. But as the times change so does the software, and the newest version comes forth.rpg-maker-mv-08-07-15-3

RPG Maker MV, now cleanly coded in Javascript, gives game developers a new level of versatility and a lot more stability. Games can be designed in glorious 1080p or higher resolution and ported not only to Windows, but also to Android and Apple products.  There is even a plugin written just for RPG Maker VX Ace, which will allow people to port their previous games into the new engine to help bring their titles to other platforms.

The learning curve for RPG Maker MV though is about the same as in previous versions, where you could load a person’s script and use it in your title. That hasn’t changed, except now it is just a more familiar coding language used by a lot of people. As always too, the RPG Maker community is incredibly helpful. With the new software being out only a few months, a wave of new plugins has already started to arrive; making game developing easier for newcomers and for those wanting to port their title.

Our own title has already been ported to the new engine and is progressing along smoothly. New features included in this iteration of RPG Maker now let players choose to include side battlers (as in Final Fantasy) or exclude them (as per Phantasy Star). This new setup eliminates the need for a lot of convoluted plugins and makes it easier for people to design a game they want.Screenshot 2015-11-09 04.39.59

Other new features include support for higher quality .ogg audio files. Although being honest here, I didn’t even realize MP3s were considered low quality until our composer questioned me about it. One of the new features I am trying to come to terms with is a plugin-enabled script. Back in the original software, each script we loaded had to have some degree of confusing instructions to follow which made things hard to understand. But in MV this is replaced with the Plugin command. Simply placing the desired effect into the Plugin command in the events section will enable the plugin.

All in all though, I simply love the new RPG Maker being able to use high quality images and audio. I can only hope the games we review down the line will be more gems to put into the chest of great works. Although I may not care for a lot of RPG Maker games (due to lack of designer effort), I know that someone out there will be making the next best titles with this software. I look forward to playing them.

-Daniel Clatworthy-

Tech Review: Tyrano Builder Visual Novel Studio

   tb logoFirst up is our disclaimer.  We received this software for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this article are our own. No compensation has been tendered for this review.

Well it’s been a long time coming with this review. I am a big fan of gaming, and as such I have always dreamed of making my own…whether it be a tabletop title or a simple RPG. So I decided to reach out to Nyu Media in regards to their Tyrano Builder Visual Novel Studio!packaging

The software, like a few other simplified game development packages, is incredibly easy to use. It even comes with a tutorial so you can put your best foot forward right away. Once you’ve learned (mastered) the setup for the software, you’ll breeze through basic game creation.

However, if you think you can just jump right into it and start making complex, industry-strength titles, I have some bad news for you. Unlike packages such as RPGMaker or Unity Engine, Tyrano Builder only comes with two preloaded assets. the-final-sceneThis means that to create your game you must either be an artist, or know an artist. Conceivably, you could still make a game using materials found online. But you can’t sell your creation unless you “own rights” to these materials. So if you’re considering Tyrano Builder without proper access to these sorts of assets, I would recommend against the investment.

The software is an incredibly powerful tool however for authoring a visual novel, whether it be a romantic comedy or a fan-fiction paring between Jack Atlas and Carly Carmine.tyrano-builder-02 I have already recommended it to Mikiko Ponczeck so she can create her own visual novels, rather than having to rely on Tokyopop and other publishing companies.

Overall, is Tyrano Builder Visual Novel Studio worth it? If you are a artist, yes. If you are a person with zero artistic talent, probably not. Despite its ups and downs, it’s an amazing piece of software and I really enjoyed taking a look at it.

-Daniel Clatworthy-