Shattered World: Beneath A Stone Sky - Winner of the RPG4D competition!

by Yaru

Posted on July 31, 2012 at 3:52 PM

A world made of floating continents, divided not only by distance, but by the minds of men. Set out on a quest to unify... or destroy. Wipe out your enemies with combo attacks or convert them to join your side. Over 30 playable classes to combine your party from, and lots of room to customize them using Essence - skill-bestowing badges you can permanently absorb.

Read enclosed readme, credits and changelog files for details.

death commented August 02, 2012 at 9:56 AM
Only played a little bit so far. I like the graphics but feel that the rooms are a bit too small. Music is okay. I tend to dislike isometric games because moving about is always confusing. One thing that is a bit tedious in the interface is that you have to select an attack target for all characters and then select PERFORM and then select End Turn (it feels like it's unnecessary and should be done automatically). Typically i don't like srpg's so this isn't really my kinda game... BUT i will say that this is really well done. Quite professional even compared to games like Fire Emblem on the gba. The presentation and quality is great.
Yaru commented August 02, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Thanks! ^__^

Early rooms are a bit small since I used a pretty bad drawing algorithm initially. I replaced it about a week ago with a better one (realized I could use tiles instead of drawing stuff manually with a surface; the surface would glitch as soon as it hit 1024x1024 pixels and lead to ugly graphics errors), but I didn't have time to remake all rooms and make them bigger. Oh, and rooms further into the game ARE bigger than the first rooms, I felt the tutorial stages should be small so you don't feel like you get lost.

The whole idea with enqueueing moves and then performing them is to let the player choose between making combos (meaning that he needs to move more units into danger) or making one move at a time (dealing less damage). Also I like that you can attack first and move away next, many other TRPGs force you to move first and thus void your move if you want to attack someone that's already into your range. Basically you have lots of choice with my system on the expense of turns taking more time.

Anyway, thanks for the input! =)
death commented August 02, 2012 at 8:43 PM
Also I like that you can attack first and move away next, many other TRPGs force you to move first and thus void your move if you want to attack someone that's already into your range.
i didn't think about this but youre right, i guess it does have it's advantages.
Yaru commented August 03, 2012 at 9:32 AM
Glad you changed your mind =)

...or, well, accepted my point of view.

EDIT: added the 5 last screenshots again. Seems to be a glitch with the upload form, I had to update 5 times and add one screenshot at a time since the Add Another Screenshot link didn't do anything at all. Well, at least it's better than 5 "broken link" icons as was before.
Yaru commented August 13, 2012 at 1:40 PM
I've got a bunch of top-5 votes at the RPG comp topic =D, but most people don't seem to want to post here and say that they liked the game. =(

Does anyone know if we're allowed to submit fixes/updates to the games now, or do we have to wait until voting and stuff is over? And will the fixed version (if any) be judged by the judges or is the version available at deadline the one considered?
Castypher commented August 13, 2012 at 6:56 PM
Well, I wrote something lengthy, including a list of bugs, annoyances, and things I thought worked well. But it was a long list and I hadn't played through the entire game yet

To be completely blunt, tactical RPGs aren't my thing, and I'm having trouble getting through the game as it is. Don't get me wrong; I think this is a polished game and it works surprisingly well where I'd expect battle-system bugs. But the game itself isn't my cup of tea.

I think it's a safe bet that unless your game has terrible game-breaking bugs, you should leave it alone until the competition passes. Don't worry, you're not the only one who wants to update. But once the competition ends, I'm looking forward to seeing a bunch of updates at once.
Yaru commented August 15, 2012 at 9:01 AM
OK, think I get it. Just in case, I've relaxed a bit with making a Mode-7 FPS remake of ZZMC (which was a simple task of merging ZZMC with my FPS engine and then spending a few days of sorting out random errors due to the merge) but I'm getting a bit twitchy to work with SW again. For instance, a bunch (~10) of the playable classes are currently unaccessible since I haven't made the Create Character system so I gotta finish that.
Yaru commented August 20, 2012 at 1:41 PM
I've discovered 4 serious issues with the main AI script, so I'll have to make an update in a few days (when I've made enough new content to add, right now it's just one more stage). For instance enemy spellcasters will always use the range "1" for spells instead of their actual range. Glad nothing more serious than that snuck in.
Yaru commented August 23, 2012 at 12:56 PM
I just found a really bloody serious glitch with how un-ranged specials are executed for AI characters. I'm really glad I didn't give any AI characters such moves for the comp entry version.

Working on coding stat aliments right now, and adding more stages to the Guild Hall Arenas. Anyone having a favourite RPG character they'd like to see as a "lawyer friendly cameo" bonus boss?
Mega commented August 23, 2012 at 2:10 PM
Neku Sakuruba.
Yaru commented September 06, 2012 at 7:16 AM
Expect that update I've been talking about within around 10 days from now. I have a bunch of important cutscenes to make before I can release it so it will take a while.
Yaru commented September 13, 2012 at 11:20 AM
...which is 5 days from now...
Yaru commented September 17, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Over 100 small changes applied. In particular, fixed serious flaws in AI and added textured backgrounds. Plus a whole new chapter and a new playable character.
Kunedon commented September 17, 2012 at 1:52 PM
I'm a real sucker for SRPGs. Why haven't I played this yet?! I need to fix this right now.
sauyadav commented October 18, 2012 at 8:42 AM
Game's screenshot immediately attracted me since I have been playing Energy Braker recently (which is an amazing game) and seems to have realized that I dig isometric graphics.
Yaru commented October 19, 2012 at 11:07 AM
Glad you like them! I sorta implemented them to reduce how much I had to draw. (The game constantly balances on the verge of my VRAM capacity as is with all the character sprites and whatnot). But it's actually pretty fun to make iso maps, because you can get a really neat 3D effect with really low effort. So I think I'll keep using iso in the future just because it looks so good.
Aistarin commented October 19, 2012 at 4:37 PM
I hate it when somebody who hasn't logged in for years just randomly logs in some day to randomly comment on a random game. It's quite random and creepy.
DFortun81 commented October 26, 2012 at 9:30 PM
I really liked it - reminded me of the good days of old.
Yaru commented November 29, 2012 at 2:21 PM
Yaru commented December 20, 2012 at 10:23 AM

A new chapter has been added between Level Forest and Rubeus' Tests. Modified some other things around that point, too. Old savefiles might have been broken by this, but don't worry, there's a fix: hold RIGHT for two seconds on the title screen, and a "New Game +" option will appear on the main menu (if you have any Cleared Data savefiles, which is impossible at this point, New Game + should always appear). Just select New Game + to start the game over from the beginning, except all characters carry over data from a previous save, all your items carry over, and all enemies get stronger to match the level of your characters. As well, loot and enemy equipment will get stronger at the same rate.
Scott_AW commented March 15, 2013 at 5:33 AM
Going to give this a try, looks rather nice.
Yaru commented March 15, 2013 at 9:31 AM
Glad to hear! I promise you won't be disappointed.
death commented March 26, 2013 at 12:58 AM
Just played the most up-to-date version and while i do like the improvements, i've also spent a little more time playing than I did previously and therefor have a few more things to point out.

I know this was for a competition but honestly, somethings seem a little rushed. First i'll point out the visual annoyances. The menu seems sloppy to me, with most lines of text in the menus running out of the borders of the menu box. The size of the header text for a menu is also much larger than the space it seems it should fit into. This is probably just OCD-like nit picking but it really does bug me just looking at it. And since it's a menu-oriented game it really gets to me.

Secondly, the animation is very stiff and the character graphics during dialogue is extremely stiff as well. It just seems so awkward that almost all the characters have this same stiffness and lifeless look. The angle of the character sprites while walking through the 8 directions available also seem to be a little off in my eyes.

The music to the game is... ok i suppose, but it isn't exactly to my liking. It also doesn't seem to fit very well with the scenario or theme. Battle music is a little too happy sounding. The sound effect that plays loudly when text scrolls is also very rough and gets annoying quickly. In most games that use a text scrolling sound, it's a lot softer and easier on the ears than that. (i know i've made that mistake with a game of mine before as well but little things like this matter)

As for the gameplay itself, it's all pretty solid but like i mentioned before, i'm just not into the tactical rpg's. However i have played a few others before and actually enjoyed them. (Kartia for the PS1 being a good example) So i can say through comparison, that i don't find the game very fun at all. There aren't any mechanics that i find interesting. The story doesn't grab my attention either.

I don't like posting such a negative review but it's all i can think of saying at the moment. There really isn't anything i personally like about the game, only a few things that bug me, and everything else is solid but not special in anyway. With some polishing this game could easily be an average tactical rpg but that's it's limit. It isn't breaking any new ground or bursting with style and unique quality.

I understand that a project like this is an extremely large amount of work for a single person, honestly i don't know how you do it and even though you managed to pull it off, i still believe that it is too much for a single person to do... when comparing it's quality to the a game made by a team of individually talented people. The problem that comes with trying to be multi-talented is that even if you can do all of the things in the project well, it seems extremely rare that that one person will ever become great at any single aspect (defiantly not all for that matter). The developer has to divide their time and skills across all the different elements instead of focusing all their time into their single best skill.

This of course, is just my theory. maybe you can prove my philosophy wrong someday but until than i don't think any game made by a single person in such a short amount of time is going to impress me much. (with the exception of Cave Story but that game was not made in a short amount of time)

My final score for this game is a 6/10. (i know, i'm a bit of a harsh critic)
Garfthnikes commented May 11, 2014 at 4:48 PM
I LOVE this game! The graphics are really cool, the music's really bouncy (best word i can think of), and the story is dark, just the way I like it! 10/10 for this, please keep working on it! A few things are bugging me though. First off, you can't make new characters with the guild. Please sort that out, I really wanna get a dragonsbane XD, and a little bug that means I can't get new characters without absorbing or selling one of my other chars that started after i went onto a new game plus. And if you go to the place where you have to rescue Marcus (ruuru plains i think?) without going to the continent west of the one with Eastahaan on it, you get stuck. Please fix that ASAP. Other than those, I am REALLY enjoying this. Keep it up!!
Yaru commented May 12, 2014 at 8:14 PM
Let's see... can't get new characters? My guess is that for some reason the "can use the conversion magic cane" flag isn't set... I'll investigate.

Making new characers with the guild wasn't ever the plan, but it's probably not that much work to implement it. Might have to break the savefile system in order to store a list of unlocked classes, though... (unless, you need at least one character of a class to create new ones?) I'll see if I can come up with something.

Can you elaborate on how you get stuck in Ruruu plains? Do you get stuck in the Ruruu Plains overworld map, in the level select map, or in the mission where you're supposed to save Marcus? And also, do you get stuck before or after saving him?
Tina commented February 16, 2016 at 12:50 AM
Oh, you are here also. I used to play your games when YoYoGames website used to work...
Really nice work!
StevenOBrien commented February 16, 2016 at 12:57 AM