I took a weekend off from my vacation (sounds weird, I know) to take part in the GMTK Game Jam 2019, whose theme was "only one". My submission was Quest of the One – a weird little JRPG made in RPG Maker VX Ace that expresses the jam theme in having only one of each of the common RPG mechanics, like character levels, dungeons, companions, weapons, gold, etc. Now, RPG is one of my favorite video game genres (though not necessarily JRPGs, I am more of a Western RPG fan), but I have never actually tried my hand at making one before, primarily because I have until now been mainly experimenting with expressive mechanics instead of expressive content.
With this jam submission, I have tried to take myself out of the comfort zone – with mixed results. While I am happy with the submitted game, a lot of players who rated my game obviously struggled with not having a weapon from the start and losing fights even against the weakest monsters in the dungeon as a result. While some (like my man xdan) appreciated this break of genre conventions, the abyssal ratings I got for Design indicate that most players didn't. So, after the rating period was over, I have uploaded version 1.1 of the game which contains an explicit tip for finding the (only one) weapon in the game, as well as a much tighter dungeon layout that funnels the player down the intended path while also allowing them to sequence-break.
The controls are the RPG Maker standard:
- Arrow keys: Navigate the menus and the game world
- Space/Enter: Activate, select option, OK
- Escape: Cancel, delete
I haven't tried it with a gamepad controller, but I assume it's pretty intuitive, too.