June 23, 2021

1.44 Floppy Disk Event - Results

    The 1.44 Floppy Disk Event at RPGMaker.net is over and it was a success! Not only it proved that file size is in no way a limit to creativity but also brought 26  new games to life of all kinds of styles and colors. From games made with the classic RPG Maker 2000 and 2003 to GameBoy roms with GB Studio, to even games made for browsers and in custom engines, you'll find everything here! But only one of them can be called the best of the best and have the honor of receiving the coveted "Golden Floppy". Which game is gonna win? Let's go through each one to find out. We are going from worst to best, as a sort of "Top Games" list. 


    This list has an element of subjectivity to it, as the games were ranked by how much I personally enjoyed each one. My opinion may differ from yours, so feel free to discuss your thoughts on the event page! And as a reminder: no matter in what position your game ended up, you should be proud of yourself! Not everyone can finish a game in two weeks and much less with a strict size limit. A big congratulations to all the participants!


    Before we start, we're gonna divide the games into two categories: "Finished" and "Unfinished". The big factor that decides in which category a game will be is its ending. If the game ends abruptly or feels as if the main plot was unresolved it will be marked as "Unfinished". Games must feel like a complete package to be considered "Finished". Games in this category will not receive "The Master Copy" achievement. So, without further ado, let's start!



UNFINISHED


2033 Neo Crusader Squad 

by Backwards_Cowboy

    A small project made in RPG Maker 2000 about... ninjas? There's not much else to say about it since it's obviously unfinished. Two maps with what appear to be custom graphics are all you will find here. It's a shame, I wonder what the original idea was?


Floppy Disk Mainland

by Ulevo

    A JRPG made in RPG Maker 2003 with some very questionable choices. Starting with the positives, we can talk about the mapping, which in the exterior areas is pretty interesting in some areas. The city looks appropriately busy and some roofs of buildings show that the dev has some experience with mapping. Or at least until you go to the overworld, which looks really bad and blocky. Is hard to know if it's on purpose or due to lack of time.

    The dev had a cool idea for window skin, imitating the style of a Windows OS. But when it's coupled with a light font color it makes the text unreadable. And if it weren't enough, the dialogue flows very awkwardly and has too many errors to count. It's clear this game wasn't made by a native speaker and it didn't receive any kind of proofreading.

    There are also issues with the balance where the enemies are very weak and don't give enough experience or money. Not that it matters anyway since the game is not finished and you will soon find many dead ends. It's a shame, some of the areas left to explore looked genuinely interesting.


Oath

by iddalai

    A JRPG made in RPG Maker 2000 with a relatively basic premise. Maybe it's just me but I like simple RPGs with a clear goal and with party and item management. The basic idea is there and has some potential. The mapping is also fairly good in most areas. Mostly the town which has some interesting touches here and there.

    But I can't ignore the flaws, which prevent the game from being the best it could be. The main issue you will find 5 minutes in is the balance. I can accept some grinding in an RPG, but here it's completely ridiculous. The enemies in the first area are typical easy fodder, but as soon as you step into any other place you will get very quickly overwhelmed, and the only solution seems to be grinding for hours to even stand a chance. All that grinding won't help you much either since your stats don't increase fast enough. Special mention goes to the final boss, which requires a lot of luck (or patience) to defeat.

    There's a way to get an extra party member but it requires failing on purpose at the start of the game. This unlocks a whole new route through the game and makes things a lot easier. I believe that hiding a huge bonus in a way someone playing for the first time is unlikely to find is terrible game design. This wouldn't be an issue if the game were better balanced.

    All the balance problems with the game come from the same source: the game is unfinished and it was rushed to meet the deadline. I'm sure that an updated version would fix most of these issues and add more options to customize the party. But sadly, I have to judge the event version and the balance simply kills any possible enjoyment you may have with the game.


Ruby Wolf 

by WolfCoder

    A very small prototype of a custom RPG battle system. You control a wolf girl and you have to fight a bunch of hyenas. The main point of the game is to showcase the battle system, and from the very short demo, it seems to have a lot of potential. You have to manage your energy, how many enemies you encounter in a single fight, and allocate points when you level up.

    There's also no way to heal as far as I'm aware, and if you die you have to close and reopen the game to keep playing. Not that it is a big issue since the demo is just a single map with a finite number of enemies. There's a good foundation here but not much aside from that.


Project Spaghettivase

by lavenderSiren
 
   An interesting little fan game made in RPG Maker 2000 set in the Homestuck universe. The game uses custom graphics that kinda reminds me of a GameBoy game, though with a lot more colors. Everything is surrounded by a black border to make the playing area smaller. Since the maps are made with this in mind there aren't moments where you can't see enough of the world. The game also has many custom art for cutscenes which help to set the tone.

    One big problem is that unless you're familiar with the universe and rules of Homestuck you'll find yourself lost very quickly. Though it's still totally possible to make sense of it and get engaged with the story. You may even get attached to the characters since the dialogue is very light and easy to read. Sadly, you soon will find that the game ends at a cliffhanger just when things start to get more interesting.


Hyper Digger

by orochii

    A game made in RPG Maker 2000 with an aesthetic kinda reminiscent of the Megaman Battle Network games, especially the cyberspace. The game uses a lot of custom graphics, with some notable ones for the enemies and even a cool animated effect for the "loading" message. These make the game set apart from your standard RPG, you can even buy "equipment" which are actually upgrades for your PC.

    One of the problems is that when you start you will have no idea of what to do since nothing is really explained. You will have to find out your objectives on your own, which mostly consist of fetch quests. It is easier said than done since it's easy to get lost in the cyberspace. It wasn't until I realized that the map loops that I had a better grasp of where I could go. You will also find that the map is smaller than it seems, and since the game ends very quickly there's not a lot of things to do. The lack of content is what hurts the game the most since what is there is very dull.


Unbit

by Kazesui

    A puzzle game made in RPG Maker 2000 that takes place in a binary world. From the very beginning, you have this cool little intro that introduces you to this world. And from then on a clean black and white aesthetic which I personally dig. You'll find at first that the game is about series of puzzle challenges but then it changes multiple times to different styles. I liked all three of the gameplay ideas presented here and I wish all of them got a bit more expanded. The little competitions at the beginning, the logic gates puzzles, and even a transition to a 3D world to explore outside of the normal boundaries.

    Sadly, the ending feels so rushed and unsatisfying that it brings a lot of good points. Is like it had some good ideas but wasn't completely sure on how to execute them. It's so abrupt that I can't really call this game "Finished"


FINISHED


Fflo's Quest

by Fflo

    A very small "dungeon crawler" playable on browsers. Oddly enough, it's played on a Nintendo DS which is an interesting idea and it makes the game stand out a bit more. Sadly, it also makes the game controllable only with the "touch screen". Needless to say, moving around with the mouse is not very comfortable.

    The game itself is a small dungeon crawler with a single map and set items and enemies in it. What's annoying is that the items and enemies are completely invisible. Your only option is to blindly explore the map until you find one of them. The difficulty of the game heavily depends on what items you get first, so you will probably get killed the first few times, and then on your next run find the potions. They give you unlimited healing, destroying any semblance of difficulty in the game.


Spider Trek

by MacShift

    A "Choose Your Own Adventure" kind of game made in Adventure Game Studio. You're a spider that wants to see the outside world again. The game has a style that makes it easy to follow along and it rarely goes to the wacky scenarios most CYOA games tend to have. It could be also be seen as a negative aspect since the ridiculous ways to die are part of the fun. The choices are also usually very clear about which one is the optimal one so you may finish the game very quickly. As a bonus, it has a little animation at the end.


Romance in Shaly

by Delsin7

    A "Choose Your Own Adventure" kind of game playable in browsers. It has two main "routes", you can explore a cave or go to a restaurant. The game is very fun, short and it has many possible routes with the expected bad ends awaiting you at every corner. But since it's very easy to go back and it's always fun to see what happens you will probably pick the bad options on purpose. As a side note, you can input your name at the start of the game but it doesn't seem to be used anywhere.


The Fisherman Lived Happily Ever After

by kory_toombs

    A text game for browsers with a twist at the end. It utilizes a text parser to control the character. Usually, this kind of game suffers from a "What does the game want me to input?", but thankfully this is not the case. It's really easy to get into it since there aren't any cryptic puzzles or commands outside of the classic Grab, Look, Use, etc. Though at the same time it's kind of disappointing since it doesn't have many options outside of the usual. Talking with your partner didn't seem to work no matter what I asked either. Though it could also be that I didn't experiment enough with the commands.


Rome Protector

by Irog

    An action game for Windows and Linux. Your objective is to defend Rome from the monster infestation, which consists only of bees and slimes. The graphics are nice and the animation of the hero looks very smooth, it kinda reminds me of early Windows games. Sadly, the gameplay is very dull, you just beat enemies with no variation or changes in the gameplay. The enemy AI could also be a little better because they seem to follow you until you get far away enough, then they will instantly forget about you.


Keep on Smilin'

by Garage

    A rather standard Pacman clone for browsers with emojis for graphics. It's Pacman so it's bound to be fun no matter what. The basic rules are all there so it's very easy to pick up and play. It even comes with new maps to spice up the gameplay. It doesn't come without its problems though. There's a difficulty selector at the start but you should pick Hard no matter what as it affects how "smooth" is your movement. Though even at hard it's rather choppy and it can make you lose quite a few lives but it gets a little faster as you advance more levels. The choppy movement is the thing that hurts the game the most since it directly affects the gameplay.


We Live To Serve This Ship

by Corfaisus

    A story game made in RPG Maker 2003 about a pirate crew and the events that happen during their voyage. Despite heavily relying on the RTP the game looks pretty nice. Every time a new dialogue box appears it has this little effect and the character lights up for a moment, little details like this add a lot to the presentation.

    I can't say much about the story because not much happens, aside from the crate near the end of course. Still, maybe it felt as if nothing happened due to the very slow pace of the game. I'm sure things will be important later as the story continues in the game "Tales from Zimulrik", but the issue is that when the game is taken as a single game the ending doesn't feel satisfying and it almost feels like there was more planned that couldn't be included.


Oh no, it's my Crazy Ex-Girlfriend!

by CraziBabi and Marmalade

    The princess has been kidnapped, you have to rescue her! Or that's what it seems at first glance. This is a platformer game made in GB Studio. In terms of graphics, the actual game looks very simple, but the game has many cutscenes that use detailed artwork. There's also quite a bit of variety, with three different levels, each one with different items and objectives.

    Sadly, the gameplay isn't very good. The physics feel a little slippery and unreliable, which spells doom for any platformer game. The game is harder than it should be mostly due to the controls. You will have trouble making many jumps, especially in the second level. There's also a lack of healing items, with only two at most in each level.


Temple Guard

by Dune

    A puzzle/strategy game for Windows. Survive a number of turns against the horde of demons coming for you. The game looks a little confusing at first but once you get down to it there's a certain pressure that makes every decision feel important. It can be surprisingly engaging. The presentation could use some work though as it is a bit on the ugly side. This game would really benefit from more polish, especially in the way the information is presented to the player and having streamlined controls to make the game a little more quick-paced.


Ultra Smug

by Avee

    A Pacman-like game made in RPG Maker 2003. You play as a moogle and your objective is to collect all gems while avoiding Ultros's tentacles. The game looks very cute and has a nice little jingle at the start of each level. The rules are easy to understand and the gameplay is decently fun. The enemy AI hurts the experience though. Since the tentacles seem to move completely randomly there's a huge chance that they will block some gems. The only way to collect those gems is by waiting and hoping that they finally move out of the way. Add to the mix that many of the later levels have a lot of dead ends and you will have a frustrating game. There are some power-ups but they don't help too much since they don't since to last long enough.


Lily's Dream Land

by Soulrain

    A cute platformer game made in GB Studio about a little girl exploring her dreams. The graphics are simple and cute. There are quite a lot of levels, each one with a different style that makes it feel separate from the others. The controls are honestly the best out of all the platformer games made in GB Studio for the event. This is mostly because the physics are more tuned and the levels are, for the most part,  designed to accommodate them. Of course, they aren't perfect, but they do the job well enough.

    This brings me to my next point. Except for a few difficulty spikes here and there the game is very easy, maybe too easy. And those difficulty spikes are because the level seems designed to go against the control. These are mostly the levels where you have to dodge arrows.

    As a bonus, once you finish the game you can unlock a picross game made in GameMaker. The puzzles are very easy but it's still a nice little addition. One of its quirks is that you can move the level select counter infinitely but in actuality, there are only around 10 levels.


Magic Quest

by Pianotm

    An old-school JRPG made in RPG Maker 2000 in the style of the classic Dragon Quest games for the NES/Famicom. The graphics are nice and simple, but they capture the feel of a long time gone. There's also lots of content with a relatively long length and even a second quest to double the game time. And just like the old JRPGs, it's very satisfying to get stronger. It makes you feel more confident exploring the world.

    But just like the JRPGs of old, it also has its many warts. Grinding was a big issue with almost all games and this is no exception. The early areas require a bit of grinding and later on, you also need to grind to buy keys. Though by comparison, the last half of the game gets too easy and the final boss is almost a pushover.


The Swamp

by Racheal and MakioKuta

    A short adventure game made in RPG Maker VX Ace. Escape the swamp before the Bog King marries you (and eats you). Using VX Ace doesn't leave you with a lot of space to work with, so it's amazing to see how they make the most of limited resources. All the graphics are in black and white to save some precious bytes that color would've used. The custom backgrounds and character portraits have a distinct style and look great. The writing also adds a lot of personality to the many characters you will meet along the way.

    On the gameplay side of things, I would usually I would complain about a game being easy. But here having no harsh consequences for failing is a relief. It makes you more open to trying out different options and exploring all your options. My only issue is that it lacks a way to check your current stats and inventory. There's no easy way to know how much Muscle, Vitality, and Social you have or what items you have on you.


Tesseract

by coelocanth

    A rogue-like with ASCII graphics for browsers. Your mission is to retrieve the "Tesseract" from the bottom of a procedurally generated dungeon. The game follows the basic formula of the original rogue. You explore a dungeon, fight enemies and get loot. It's simple but addictive, and it makes you push and get deeper and deeper.

    The game lacks a tutorial or any way to know how the game works. I spent quite some time trying to find the "Descend stairs" key. Heck, I beat the game yet I still don't know what "SNK" means or does. The game is also very easy, especially compared to other rogue-likes. There's zero penalty for staying in one place and waiting until you refill your HP. Something that constantly depleting food usually fixes by putting some pressure on you.


A Vacation in Nebula

by Frogge

    A puzzle/exploration game made in RPG Maker 2000 with a nice aesthetic and a relaxing theme. It has a very strong presentation overall, with a nice mix of colors against a black backdrop. The main objective is to collect suns while you explore the "nebula". Along the way, you'll find many NPCs reminding you that it's okay to take a break and the good things in life. You can also find some puzzles that are very accessible and relatively easy to understand.

    I don't really have any cons to talk about, the game set out an objective and it accomplished it. My only gripes are very minor like how it's hard to find the way sometimes and needing a bit more clarity on what's an obstacle in the pushing puzzles sections.


Villian

by NotADev

An action RPG made in RPG Maker 2003. You play as a hero that has risen from the grave, or are you really the hero? The game utilizes custom graphics that are a throwback to old computer games with limited palettes and small sprites. It makes the game stand out and it's visually pleasant. And on the gameplay side... doing anything that's not an RPG in RPG Maker can either go great or wrong. This game has a quite simple system but it works pretty well here. The main idea is to pay attention to the enemy patterns and strike when the time is right. The difficulty is also pretty fair through most of the game. There's really not much to complain about here, this is a very well-rounded package.


Dread The Rabbit

by Momeka

    A puzzle game made in RPG Maker 2003 that stars a rabbit with a mission to defeat a necromancer. The mechanics are simple to understand, but there's a bit of decision-making to ensure that you are making the most of your limited resources. It can get very addicting because once you nail down the basics you'll want to keep playing until you beat the game. The nice custom graphics complete the whole package.

    That being said, there's a big element of randomness to it. While you can certainly get far even with bad luck it's very hard to finish the game if the cards are against you. I would dare to say that it's impossible without getting a healing item. Still, it's nothing incredibly impossible and you can probably get a good run sooner than later.


Detective Waka

by Mirak

    A multi-genre game made in GB Studio. It's filled to the brim with references to the rpgmaker.net community. If you are part of RMN you will have a blast, but if you aren't there's still some fun to be had, although most of it won't make any sense. The nice thing is that it utilizes a lot of custom graphics. From characters, tilesets to even cutscenes, they all look great and add personality to the characters and the world. Another big plus is that it has a lot of variety. There are a total of four different gameplay styles: Exploring, RPG battles, Platforming, and "Zelda-like" top-down action.

    What hurts the experience is the lack of polish in many of these gameplay sections. They are fully functional but either they aren't balanced properly or there are some bugs here and there. The RPG battle is simple enough that there's nothing to complain about, except that maybe it's a little too plain. The Zelda section is a little bugged and hitboxes sometimes don't work as they should. But the biggest offender is the platforming section, with bad physics, wonky hitboxes, one hit-deaths, and level design that seems to make worse all of these issues.


GOLDEN FLOPPY WINNER

Unchained

by Decky

    A JRPG made in RPG Maker 2000. You are monsters that have been sent to the past to revive your Dark Lord. But not everything is as it seems...

    While the graphics rely a lot on REFMAP it makes good use of them. The mapping looks great and there are some cool effects here and there. Of note is that in certain sections you can change back to your monster form and the graphics switch temporarily to the classic RTP. This is a pretty cool touch to be used only in a total of three maps through the whole game, it really shows the attention to detail.

    The story is very interesting and it leaves you wanting to know what happens next. I can't really talk about it without spoiling much, but I found the twist at the end very appropriate and a good way to end the game. The story is mostly carried by the main characters, which are well written with clearly defined personalities. You will probably end up loving them in the end. It even has a few small moments of comedic relief to balance the heavy-hitting parts.

    The game utilizes a relatively simple battle system, where your characters have limited MP but it's restored a bit each turn. It makes you think about how to manage your resources and pick the best skill for the situation. It also has many secondary objectives that reward you for completing them, such as beating the enemy in 2 turns or less or beating them with full HP or MP. Boss battles, on the other hand, use a counter that goes down every turn and once it hits zero the enemy gets a big offensive boost, adding pressure to kill the boss as fast as you can.

    There are many different kinds of herbs that increase your stats. It gives you a certain degree of customization to decide how to build your characters. You can get them after every battle or by exploring the map. Speaking of maps, there quite a lot of puzzles and hidden nooks and crannies, making them rewarding to explore.

    Difficulty is fair for the most part, and there are many ways to increase it or decrease depending on your tastes. You can either activate Casual Mode to get more herbs after every battle or try and play the game without ever using them. The only complaint I have about this aspect is that at the start of the game you get the idea that this is a game about resource management and you should only use herbs very smartly to avoid getting in an unwinnable situation. But around a third of the game in you will find a grinding spot and that idea goes through the window. I can't complain too much since this opens the way for more players and eases the (admittedly) stressful tension. But you know, some of that tension made each battle feel more important.

    Overall this is a very polished game and a well-rounded experience no matter how you look at it. The game is also pretty long, especially for an event game, with looks of content to get through. I haven't measured the time but it easily takes more than 5 hours to finish it.

February 25, 2021

Cave Adventure R v2 is out!


   A big update for Cave Adventure R has been released! Something I would like to call the "Remastered Edition". This update changes the engine to the official version of RPG Maker 2003. But not only that! It also adds a lot of new updates and features!


- Updated engine: Improving compatibility, adding a better fullscreen option, and a whole bunch of other improvements.
- 4 new areas: Two of them are secret, can you find them?
- Remade equipment: Added totally new weapons and armor which replaces the old stuff.
- New dialogue: Improved writing in almost every area, now it's more comedic and with less engrish.
- Improved balance: Now it's somewhat easier but it allows more varied builds.

   Originally released for an event in 2015. Cave Adventure R is one of my first games ever made and also one of the first I've publicly released. While I've come a lot way since I made it I couldn't stop thinking about it. Between all the newbie mistakes I feel like there's something worthwhile underneath. So I decided to give it a new fresh coat of paint and make it a lot easier to play with modern computers. Maybe I'll revisit my favorites ideas from this game and implement them on a new project. For now, I hope anyone that plays it can see past the flaws and have a good time!


Download link