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 EDTech Demo

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WaveformDelta
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Join date : 2009-04-22
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PostSubject: EDTech Demo   Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:18 am

The Ethereal Dreams site has a demo of their 'new technology' available:
http://etherealdreams.org/EDTech.exe

This is not a full game (which the demo points out), but a demonstration of some new gaming techniques they are apparently planning to incorporate into Ethereal Dreams proper. The changes include:

  • A new orthogonal 'side view' perspective map mode
  • Ability to change characters with a single key, with different events triggered by whose 'in charge'
  • A new side view battle system, with a 'time bar' for fighting order


As they also point out, this a very rough demo--many of the sprites are not finished and appear to change clothes as they move through their walk cycles--but the features are worth commenting on.

  • I didn't really like the orthogonal perspective. I grant that it looks striking and unusual, which is it's biggest benefit. However, it made navigation difficult--it was no longer intuitively clear which way my character would go when I pressed the 'up' key, for instance. On a conventional map I expect the character sprite to move as if I was looking down at the map from above (even though I can see the 'fronts' of map objects); 'Up' will always turn the character sprite north and move him north. On this orthogonal map, I tended to expect that 'Up' would move the character forward, whatever direction she happened to be facing. In other words, the link between 'which way the sprite faces' and 'which way it will move' is not what I'm accustomed to on a regular map. (I have to admit, though--I'm very curious how much RGSS recoding was required to make this work.)

  • It also seemed like the sprites were poorly designed for this purpose. They moved in a strange way--their walk cycles felt unnatural, and they sometimes seemed to walk sideways. It's possible that these sprite are still unfinished, but it really took me out of the game.

  • The 'change player' feature (which I know has been done in other games) I quite liked, on the other hand. My only objection was that it was bit of overkill in this demo--if you're an 'explore every possibility' type like me, having to switch through five characters at every possible event on the map gets a bit tedious.

  • I haven't learned to love the 'clock-bar' battle systems--it too often seems like I keep getting attacked out of turn. I think I started to get it this time, though: each of my characters doesn't get to act until they reach the right end of the graph. Meanwhile, the enemies act as soon as they hit the right end--some of them move faster because they are more powerful. As far as the side view aspect, I thought that looked very nice, and especially liked the smooth 'rotating' menus. Again, I'd like to know how they coded this thing.


Overall, I'd give it three and half stars out of five: impressive technology, but I really want to see it in service of a proper game!!
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