Released Pokémon Midnight (Chapter 1)

This project has a release available. The full version is still a work in progress.
Project Status
Demo
Project Version
1.2.0
logoforum.png

Welcome to Neo-Saffron.
Under the watchful eye of the Neon Corporation, life is difficult.
But a group of individuals have come together to fix this. To find an escape from this midnight city.


FEATURES:
Random dungeons instead of traditional routes
Level scaling trainers for that open-world feel™
About 2 hours of content(!)
Way too many obscure references to Synthwave/1980s music culture



PLEASE NOTE:
Due to time limitations(/scope creep) this is essentially a demo version of the game I had planned. It plays up to the end of the first block of tunnels and its associated Neon Co. admin above ground.


SCREENSHOTS:

screens.png


TEAM:
sukoshijon - Lead Developer
Brom - Artist, Writing Assistance, QA/Testing
Holoserica - QA/Testing
JUM - QA/Testing

DOWNLOADS:
GAME
RESOURCE PACK

CREDITS:
Pokémon Platinum Menu Icons ripped by spaceemotion

RGSS version of the game uses FMOD Ex
FMOD Ex API by FIRELIGHT TECHNOLOGIES PTY LTD.
RGSS Linker, RGSS FmodEx (C++,Ruby), Audio (FmodEx) by Nuri Yuri
LOOP_TABLE function by GiraPrimal

Pokémon is owned by:
The Pokémon Company
Nintendo
Affiliated with Game Freak
(Detailed credits in game)

Made with Pokémon Essentials, mkxp-z and RPG Maker XP
 
Last edited:

rainefall

riley
Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2017
Posts
36
The game has been updated to version 1.1.1.

Changelog:
  • Disabling copyrighted music no longer disables all music.
  • Fixed a couple of spelling errors.
  • Fixed invalid characters appearing on several objectives' text.

If you have already downloaded the game, you can download the patch here. Replace Game.rgssad in the game folder with the Game.rgssad included in the download.

The game has been updated to version 1.1.2, which removes a lot of unneeded essentials content and also fixes missing map destinations.
You can download the patch here.
 
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I just finished the demo! Here are my notes!

Emptiness
A major issue I have is how empty the game's world is. While the tiles are nice, most of the city is just endless, empty sidewalk. The city only has a handful of NPCs, most of whom are trainers. In some areas, like the resistance lab/office, the NPCs are just blank.

The area that suffers the most from this is the tunnels. While Essentials' dungeon feature is cool, it leads to the environment being really bland to explore. The only tiles you could have there were the walls, floor, and ladder pieces. In addition, by the time I got to the 5th or so floor, I felt like things had become very repetitive. I threw on a Repel, picked up the items, and found the ladder. The tunnels weren't interesting to explore, nor were they particularly difficult.

I think the game could benefit if you did design the tunnels more like traditional routes: variation in layout, overworld encounters, puzzles, HM hazards/etc. There are still ways you could incorporate random factors into this. Perhaps you could have, for example, five floors, three of which the player is required to go through. Each time they reach the next ladder, you shuffle which floor they are to go to. (Via variable.) That would create variation between playthroughs. At the same time, you could incorporate more detail and challenge.

Balancing
My other criticism about the game is the balancing. Some of this might have changed because I only updated to the latest patch after I got
the gate key, but I had a couple issues with the game's balancing.

First off, I didn't care for the first major battle being doubles. Running all the way back to the tunnels, catching a Pokémon, and then trying to train it up on level 1 Rattata and Zubat wasn't so great. If you're going to force the player to grind so early on, I would consider adding an EXP share, or at least encounters that gave a higher exp yield.

Secondly, the game's Pokémon selection isn't too great. The majority of the encounters in the tunnels were poison and normal-types. Along with that, the most popular Pokémon I faced against with the grunts were Purrloin. I think every Neon Co. Worker I faced had one or more Purrloin. Meanwhile, the only attacking moves that Porygon learns until the high 20s are Tackle and Psybeam. Because of Purrloin's typing, you can then only use Tackle.

The Aesthetics
Now onto the positive. I loved how this game looked. Don't tell anyone, but I definitely have a soft spot for vaporwave aesthetic. I can tell that you put a lot of effort into the tilesets and UI. The tilesets especially, being from scratch, would have taken a long time to put together. One detail I liked with the interior set of the city was how you used transparent windows and a panorama to show the buildings outside. Overall, I think my favourite tileset had to be the Pokémon Center. I loved the animated escalator autotile, as well as the look of the counters there.

The pause menu was very nice to look at as well. (Although it did throw me a dispose sprite error a few times upon closing it. I'm not sure if that was fixed with the latest patch.) The automatic inclusion of the town map and an objectives description was very thoughtful design. Definitely a good way to keep someone on-track as the explore the world!

I'm not a very, uh, technical person when it comes to music. I hear something, and I like it. That being said, I like the game's soundtrack! I think that the wild battle theme was probably my favourite out of the bunch. It was energetic, and felt like an appropriate battle theme.

Misc Thoughts
  • The key being in a book about Java had me snickering. Fuck Java.
  • I would've liked to know more about why the Neon Corporation is bad/evil. I didn't get a sense of why anyone dislikes/wants to escape the city, just that they plan to.
  • Despite what I said about Purrloin, I do love the feline Pokémon theme. Meowth is one of my favs. :]
  • I appreciate the MKXP-Z support! It's soooo nice to enjoy the smooth framerate.
 

rainefall

riley
Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2017
Posts
36
The game has been updated to version 1.2.

Additions:
  • Added a message that tells the player to use the mouse to interact with the game menu
  • Added an option to toggle fullscreen in game settings
Changes:
  • Minor adjustments to balance functions
  • Removed "Onix: (Onix Noise)!"
  • Edited dialogue slightly to tell the player that they should be catching Pokémon
  • Other minor dialogue changes
Fixes:
  • Fixed a bug where you could open the item/pokédex menu on eggs (which would also trigger a crash)
  • Fixed a crash on buying the water stone
  • Fixed tile permissions
  • Fixed a couple of broken signs
  • Fixed a potential bug where trainer level scaling wouldn't be disabled upon entering the neon outpost after beating the two workers in the lobby

If you have already downloaded the game, you can download the patch here. Replace Game.rgssad in the game folder with the Game.rgssad included in the download.
 

Marin

Administrator
Administrator
The setting in the city was designed excellently, be it a tad large. The aesthetic and flow feels consistent, and the maps really capture the feeling of a real city. The music was phenomenal, and I've listened to various tracks on loop as I was playing and doing a few other things with the music running in the background. It at no point becomes repetitive and is very unique, yet still captures the Pokémon feeling.

The tunnels were rather confusing to me. Every time you'd enter the tunnels, you'd end up in a new area, and I'd have no idea how far I was, how deep I was, where I was meant to go, and what to do in general.

The story is very intriguing. The city is corrupt or otherwise flawed, and you and a group of people want to escape from it. I like how it flowed rather naturally and introduced enough concepts at a time, but never too many. Everything is explained, and didn't find myself lack information. The theme inclusion was also very clear, and it evidently fits the story perfectly.

Forcing the game to be full-screen and with a banner is unique, but didn't bother me at all. It actually made the experiernce much more immersive, and I love how it fits in with the title screen and generally the game's graphics and aesthetics.

I found myself way underleved very quickly, with trainer levels rising rapidly. I trained my Porygon up to level 17 as such, and then found out I needed an extra Pokémon to be able to progress past the Market Street cutscene. But then I have to try to catch level 1-4 Rattata or Zubat with my level 17 Pokémon, which means I have to throw balls at full HP, hoping that it'll catch. But I have few balls because I didn't intend on training a large team, and spent (and used on all the high-level trainers!) most my money on Potions. I had to keep looking for trainers to fight, buy balls with their money, and hope it'd catch. One such trainer was enough in the end, but it was a bit of an annoyance to me.

The lack of Super Potions didn't help the difficulty of the battles. My Porygon has more than 60 HP, so one Potion isn't going to make a difference. It's got Recover now, but everything outspeeds it to the point where it's not that useful if not used preventively. More on battles, Purrloin is very powerful when it has both Torment and Sand-Attack. Porygon has only one attacking move, Tackle, which itself isn't the strongest move. When it sand attacks to lower accuracy and torments, I have to alternate between Tackle and some other status move, which just becomes a chore. I can Conversion 2 into a type Purrloin is not very effective against, and then it's just a matter of spamming tackle and recover. It's not a challenge, it just takes ages.

The pause menu is really cool and looks great, but the mouse-only input is a tad annoying, given that nothing else in the game uses mouse input. It's a little inconsistent.

PS: My favorite track is hands-down the Market Street track!
 

boonzeet

Developer of Pokemon: Secrets of the Ages
Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Posts
72
Overall I loved the setting/aesthetic, the graphics, and the music. The use of the random map generator was great, but could have been expanded upon. For areas to improve, the difficulty/grindiness and lack of items.

The setting is just super cool. It fits the theme perfectly and I love the dystopian vibe of this neon city where you want to find an escape from. The city/sewer system made for a really interesting level layout that stands out as different to other Pokémon fangames.

The 80s synthwave vibe fits it perfectly and was well realised. The city communicated its dystopian status immediately and clearly and made the desire to escape work well. The music was amazing, really enjoyable to listen to and never felt like it was repeating or annoying. There could have been more variety with tracks, like a different track or just ambient noise in the sewer tunnels.

This was the first time I'd seen the random map generator used in a fangame in a way that made sense, as a labyrinthian set of tunnels under the city with progressing levels of difficulty. It worked really well, although it did feel remarkably empty for most of the exploration. Some randomly placed decorations, alternate floor tiles and objects would have helped (and made them slightly easier to navigate).

While Porygon fits the theme, his limited moveset and poor stats make for a challenging main. To speed up the game, features like the Exp All or a flat EXP boost for all Pokémon (or even a different OT on Porygon for a stat boost), as well as some rare candies, great/ultra balls and super potions distributed in the tunnels would have reduced the grind a lot. The low level Pokémon you can catch early on tend to have poor second stage evolutions which makes them undesirable (Muk, Arbok?) and not worth training. Some greater variety or some mons that are worth investing the time in would have helped too.

Great work on the game and delivering such an inspired aesthetic!
 

Ranko

Aloof Unmoving Maiden
Member
Joined
May 17, 2017
Posts
103
Hey I completed your game! Great job submitting a Game Jam Project, which is a feat of its own!

opinion, everyone is free to disagree

You nailed the aesthetic for this game, it's definitely my favorite part of this game, and it was a really interesting game! It's always a strong + for me when games are visually pleasing and polished, not being cheaply produced on the surface level, but that's mostly because a lot of games tend to mess that up for some reason. I don't have too many notes for this game (as I streamed it and said a lot of stuff publicly and I didn't find any major issues lol)

Gameplay wise, the biggest bummer to me here was the lack of wild Pokémon variety, being introduced to the same 3 wild Pokémon throughout the dungeon, even going up a few levels didn't change it. I know you mentioned that the setting of the game kinda restricted you on that end, but tbh considering the dungeon's canon anomalous nature, I feel like you could break the rule a bit and it wouldn't feel too out of place. Overall, I think the dungeon could use a lot of work. While the items being randomly scattered through and such worked well, the cave encounters combined with nothing much than just wild encounters was a bit underwhelming. This sounds very hard due to the way it's set-up, but if possible, I'd like to see more life in these dungeons.

Otherwise, the Overworld could also use some more livelihood, and would also be a good break from crawling and also a good excuse to give out more interesting and exclusive Pokémon!

That's about it. It's a Demo, so I know that everything is being worked out in terms of what to add/what works etc, as everything kind of a taste of what is possible in a future update. Other than that, no major issues! Great work and good luck <3
 
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