Tag Archives: Game dev

Haven Review: Labyronia RPG

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

Labyronia RPG is an indie game developed by Labyrinthine using the RPG Maker VX Ace engine. Both the game and the engine are available for purchase on Steam. Reminiscent of the early Zelda and Final Fantasy titles, Labyronia RPG will take you on a perilous top-down adventure through lands of varied terrain. By collecting inventory and special abilities, your goal is to fight your way to the final boss and earn 6 glorious Steam achievements. So excited were the developers that on August 14, 2015 they announced a $300 (US) reward to the first player to beat the game!

LabHomeThe first order of business when starting a new game is to wake up. Guide the protagonist, Arres, around his home and investigate everything. Items of interest are marked with an animated gold circle. Chests and other containers are not so marked…you’ll just have to rely on cool RPG skills to figure out they’re worth a look. Before long, you’ll discover numerous tomes in which to immerse yourself in the rich lore surrounding the open world. As your adventure continues, you’ll come across towns, forests, deserts and special landmarks. Again, be sure to investigate anything that looks out of place, or seems different from usual screen fare. There’s a good chance it’s a usable item of some sort. Look closely at the picture below…can you see the special item? And no, it’s not the tent!

LabTentLet’s talk towns. As per RPG standards, these settlements contain three staples of adventuring: markers, buildings and non-player characters (NPCs). Markers can be anything from a fountain to trash dumpster…basically, a stationary item of interest. In Labyronia, a prominent town marker is the “Save Game” lamp post.
LabTownBuildings provide a service, whether it be weaponry, food or simply a place to sleep.
LabInnNPCs are the most interesting of the town staples, as they offer clues to help you advance the story line. Sometimes their assistance is direct; at other times cryptic. Either way, they’re always interesting to meet.LabNPCs1The open world is vast, and you’ll often come across important locales other than towns. The forest maze is one of the earliest such places you’ll visit. It’s not hard to guess which of the above NPCs you’ll meet in the forest. Follow her (oops) advice carefully to survive and enhance your character during your stay here.

LabMazeSpeaking of survival, what RPG would be complete without combat? Enemies are easy to spot at a distance, as they meander aimlessly about…until they get within a few hex spaces of you! If an enemy moves into a hex adjacent to yours, you fight. Combat is a simple, turn-based affair; similar to the classic dungeon-crawls of old (and some new). When it’s your turn, choose one of four actions:

Attack with a weapon
Cast a spell
Defend/Block
Use an itemLabFight3While the mechanics are easy to use, winning a battle is another story. NPCs are quick to warn you of danger, and that you’re probably not strong enough to defeat anything yet. Just remember that there’s no hurry. Be patient and get your money’s worth. As of this writing, the game is on sale for $1.64 (US). But be warned…soon enough the sale will end, and the price goes back up to 3 bucks.

This brings us to our final point: game value. Is Labyronia RPG worth it? The answer for me is an overwhelming YES. I’ve always been a fan of RPGs, dungeon-crawls and the like. Now that the RPG Maker VX Ace engine is available to all, expect to see many of these outstanding projects soon. Who knows, perhaps you could be the next great RPG designer! In the meantime, have fun with this one.Labyronia RPG Scale-Chris Roberts-

Haven Editorial: Nintendo CEO: Satoru Iwata passes away.

It is the end of a era as Satoru Iwata CEO of Nintendo of Japan has passed away.
He was loved by many and helped create the image Nintendo has today and helped bring
entertainment and joy to millions.
1338171161955333780On his business card he never thought of himself as a game designer, or game developer but a gamer like many of us. Those who have met him will always talk about how much of a amazing person he was and how he always would make a room light up.

I am one of the people that will miss him and his works in the game industry because for many of us. The games he helped make at Nintendo were apart of our childhood and because of that he will be forever missed.

It is sad that he passed away at the age of 55, and if you remember last years E3 Iwata was forced to cancel his trip due to due to poor health. In which he had to under go surgery to get a bile duct growth removed.

Although on Twitter a few months after he said he is “progressing well.” it seems that
things changed. Iwata joined the Nintendo HAL Laboratories team back in 1980 where he worked on games like Balloon Fight and Earth Bound and was appointed president in the year 2000 of the company. He was also responsible for some of Nintendo’s strongest selling systems such as the Wii, and the DS as well as some of the weaker consoles (WiiU and GameCube.)

An in recent years was achieving a lot of recognition for his appearances on Nintendo Direct.
Even if you are a PC gamer it is safe to say you have played some of his games at one point.
RIP Mr.Iwata you are going to be missed.

-Daniel Clatworthy-

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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-