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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsManafinder - A Japanese-styled turn-based RPG!
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Author Topic: Manafinder - A Japanese-styled turn-based RPG!  (Read 2653 times)
wolfsden
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« on: October 07, 2021, 11:38:46 AM »








Hi everyone, I've been working on Manafinder: a turn-based Japanese-style RPG for PC! I'm targetting 2022 for release. I'm planning to share some of my learnings as indie dev here as I release the game.

Steam (+demo): https://store.steampowered.com/app/1582410/Manafinder/
itch.io (+demo): https://wolfsden.itch.io/manafinder
Social media: https://linktr.ee/manafinder

Platforms
Windows PC

Engine
RPG Maker MV

Plot
There is only one kingdom in this world, and you have been exiled from it. With dangerous creatures lurking every corner, living in the wild is unspoken of.

Against all odds, and thanks to the grace of manastones, a community of banished survivors has formed a settlement. With their days seemingly counted, they've welcomed you as their latest champion, their hope, their manafinder. But seeking manastones is no ordinary task, for it is often a finder's demise either on the search itself, or by the hands of their natural guardians; powerful creatures who have grown attached to the energy emitted by these magical stones.

Between increasingly tense relations among the last remaining manafinders, and the difficulty of the job itself, surviving is slowly becoming a distant dream. In this time of crisis, will you be the heroine the settlement desperately needs?

Features
  • 8~12 hours of playtime!
  • Explore the fantastical environments of Aevi, with over 23 different biomes!
  • Fight over 120 different beasts, each with a unique design and combat strategy!
  • Use different weapons and elemental ores during combat to exploit enemy weaknesses!
  • Collect items and weapons, find manastones, harvest healing plants, and mine elemental ores to aid you in your quest!
  • Meet exiles, manafinders, nomads, the Gods, and other mysterious characters!
  • Choices made throughout the game will not only define the fate of the exiled but also result in one of the two completely different final chapters!
  • Take a break, and take on side quests with varied activities (including minigames!) that dive deeper into the lives of the exiled.

While I am a solo dev, I do have a team of collaborators helping me with all the assets.
Pixel Art by:
8-blem
Firefly Pixel
Soujilune
Daniel Hiram

Music by:
calamaresespaciales

SFX by:
Newtro Incandescente

Trailers by anyamaf<3

Screenshots:




Manafinder was recently part of Tokyo Game Show 2021, and that is what I plan on doing my first devlog about! Spoiler alert: it was a big wishlist booster.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2022, 09:09:40 AM by wolfsden » Logged
wolfsden
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2021, 11:16:58 AM »

So, the game is almost "asset/content" complete, just missing side-quests and a lot of testing and polish, hence why I still consider release to be a ~year away.

I'm also focusing a lot more on marketing, trying to boost those Steam wishlists! (any advice is appreciated, but there's no silver bullet).

Now, related to wishlists...

Manafinder was part of Tokyo Game Show 2021's Indie Game 'Selected Exhibit'. I updated the logo with Japanese text on the upper-left plus made a fancy trailer for the show!




The trailer plus social media boost did help wishlists, but honestly, it was a lot less than I had hoped... It was honestly discouraging.
HOWEVER, once TGS actually started, Manafinder was part of the official TGS 2021 page on Steam, under the RPG section (page still up here: https://store.steampowered.com/sale/TGS2021).

And omg, this increased Manafinder's wishlists by over 200%! More than doubled them. This was a huge motivation booster, and of course I can def confirm now that participating in conventions is worth it, but most importantly... seems like nothing beats getting visibility on the Steam storefront.

Participating in TGS was free btw, and well, Tokyo Game Show def has the right audience for Japanese-styled RPGs lol

So, do join conventions, events, they help a lot!
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thehorseman007
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2021, 05:26:53 AM »

Looks good  Smiley, I like it, 70% already done, that's nice and good. Keep up the good work. Grin
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Copywright
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2021, 12:33:26 PM »

I love this game, still can't believe it's an RM game.

Looking forward to seeing more progress -- watching this thread.
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wolfsden
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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2021, 09:20:30 AM »

Looks good  Smiley, I like it, 70% already done, that's nice and good. Keep up the good work. Grin

Thanks! Yeah the game is pretty far in development, but still needs LOTS of testing and polish.

I love this game, still can't believe it's an RM game.

Looking forward to seeing more progress -- watching this thread.

Thanks! Well, I did write a bunch of custom plugins to achieve what I had in mind, but if you look closely you can still see the RM DNA here and there Smiley

I also wanted to avoid RTP (default RM assets), specially because it didn't align at all with what I had in mind for combat.

A little Throwback Thursday update, but the game used to look like this in its nascent stages:


That chara and tileset evolved to:

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wolfsden
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2021, 10:08:41 AM »

Now animated the progress transition lol
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MDex
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2021, 10:25:21 AM »

Looks refreshing. Charming visuals too, kind of feels reminiscent of the Mother series but more fleshed out, especially without the hardware limitations. I'll be trying this.
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Copywright
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2021, 01:43:27 PM »

Now animated the progress transition lol


Is that a CRT filter Shocked
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wolfsden
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2021, 07:33:12 AM »

Looks refreshing. Charming visuals too, kind of feels reminiscent of the Mother series but more fleshed out, especially without the hardware limitations. I'll be trying this.

Thanks, I really appreciate it! Smiley

Now animated the progress transition lol


Is that a CRT filter Shocked

Nope, not a CRT filter. I think imgur compressed the GIF and somehow now it looks CRTish lol Smiley
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wolfsden
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2021, 09:56:33 AM »

Here's more about Lambda, the protagonist, and the transition from concept to concept art to pixel art to pixel sprites.

Lambda starts the game as an exile of Manahill, and after experiencing the horrors beyond the kingdom she manages to find herself in The Settlement, a haven of survivors. There she takes on the role of a manafinder: those who risk their lives seeking manastones in the wild. Little does she know that this is only the beginning of a destiny-defining quest...

Concept Art:


Pixel art close-up used in an in-game cutscene:


Map sprite:


Combat sprite:
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wolfsden
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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2021, 11:48:11 AM »

Special art we did for Halloween featuring Lamdba and Scar <3

Happy Halloween everyone!
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Pidroh
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2021, 03:48:09 PM »

Hi!!
How are your Wishlists? Having between 5000 and 10000 should allow for a healthy launch, from what I heard.

If you haven't participated in any Steam next fest, that is also something to consider!

How much money did you spend on the art for the game? Which artist did you use for the battle sprites? I love the creatures!
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wolfsden
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« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2021, 09:59:26 AM »

Hi!!
How are your Wishlists? Having between 5000 and 10000 should allow for a healthy launch, from what I heard.

If you haven't participated in any Steam next fest, that is also something to consider!

How much money did you spend on the art for the game? Which artist did you use for the battle sprites? I love the creatures!

I'm halfway towards a healthy launch, so hopefully, I can make it before launch (currently targetting mid 2022).

I will def participate on the next Steam Next Fest, I havent' done so because IIRC in order to be eligible your game has to be released in the next 6 months.

For monsters, all of the artists in the original post have contributed, but mostly 8blem, who has worked on other videogames as well.
For the player characters in battle, they were done by Daniel Hiram.
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wolfsden
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« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2021, 11:19:11 AM »

Last week was November's #PitchYaGame, and I did not do as good as last time, but I still did well. This time my pitch focused more on the story: https://twitter.com/manafinder/status/1455594117824598019


This sadly did not translate into any significant boost in wishlists.

I decided to give TikTok a try, I've been told it's great social media exposure, so we'll see: https://www.tiktok.com/@wolfsden.games?

I feel a bit like this meme lol


Currently trying to reach out to YTers, streamers, etc. to give my demo a try!
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wolfsden
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« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2021, 11:36:47 AM »

So... getting a bit distracted thanks to Shin Megami Tensei V (so good!)  Cheesy

Anyways, I'm back now, but that weekend was fully devoted to SMT V lol.

Today I'm sharing how we went from concept art to pixel art, which gives a general idea of how we come up with these monsters Smiley
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wolfsden
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« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2021, 11:12:16 AM »

Haven't added many GIFs, and since animations are hand-drawn I wish I could showcase them more. Here's an example:
https://i.imgur.com/ewpQEfQ.gifv

Can GIFVs or MP4s be embedded on this site?

When I convert them to GIF imgur renders them as static images instead:
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Alain
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« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2021, 02:15:11 AM »


Can GIFVs or MP4s be embedded on this site?


Your formating is correct, but gifv / mp4 does not seem to be possible. If I am wrong, I'd also like to know Wink

Btw. your game looks really cool, wolfsden  Coffee
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Beastboy
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« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2021, 03:21:38 AM »




Beautiful work

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wolfsden
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« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2021, 02:04:25 PM »

Back from Thanksgiving break! Been sharing close-ups of the manafinders lately! More detailed pixel art used in cutscenes Smiley






Your formating is correct, but gifv / mp4 does not seem to be possible. If I am wrong, I'd also like to know Wink

Btw. your game looks really cool, wolfsden  Coffee

Yeah, looks like it might not be possible, and thanks!

Beautiful work

Thank you! Smiley
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wolfsden
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« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2022, 11:15:49 AM »

Hey guys, been a while! But I bring some updates. First, a snowy GIF!

https://i.imgur.com/zcB2okq.mp4

And secondly, I was featured on the Turn by Turn podcast!


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