Terrain of Magical Expertise (Prototype Demo)
A downloadable game for Windows and macOS
A turn-based RPG about a turn-based RPG! Play as the mysterious "White-Hat Hacker" and help your fellow players achieve victory against a group of filthy cheaters! Based on the "Terrain of Magical Expertise" webseries by Chris Niosi!
Download the zip, unzip it to a desired folder, and simply play via the executable. Widescreen resolutions recommended, Xbox 360 or Xbox One controller strongly recommended.
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You're a cool dude?!
Just played through the demo! It's really fun, and I love the battle mechanics with the magic and skill moves! I think my only complaint is all the controls. Using both WASD and arrow keys for all the maneuvering the menus on top of confirming selections, it might just be too much, and probably not easy to translate to controller if there's a need. Perhaps consider WASD or arrow keys for maneuvering menus and one other button to confirm selection.
So i downloaded the game and extracted the application and it says "Missing 'app.info' in Data folder" what is it telling me to do?
1 year ago(+1)
Hey! Just a little bit of feedback from the demo. Firstly, the gameplay is fun. I'm hooked. However, the controls for battles are a little wonky. The main issue is that after hitting the magic button (just for example), you have to use WASD, not the arrows, to select options, and then hit the magic button again to confirm, not space. It's not intuitive. Even on the gamepad, I'd expect pressing A to confirm once I'd gotten into a menu and B to cancel. Sure, it makes sense to have you select one of four options (magic, strategize, items, or strike) by hitting one of four buttons. But once you're in a menu, players think "oh i'm in a menu, controls are the way every single game ever does menus"
I did a video about the TOME demo! I think it's pretty good and it does capture the spirit of the web series! I've been a huge fan for a while, Chris! Can't wait for the full release!
The only thing I was expecting that I didn't get was the iconic BATTLE ON! when a grid was opened up. Really hope it'll be added to the full release!
I've been a fan of TOME for so long now and it happened to slip off my radar, until I saw THIS! I have never been so excited for a game!
Hello! I really enjoyed this demo. I had a lot to say, so I wrote a review of it here: https://naominorbez.tumblr.com/post/166994697991/tome-rpg-demo-an-affectionate-review
I've been a TOME fan since the first episode. Thanks for making this game! :)
So... I'm not if this first thing is a bug but I found it a little weird. I was looking through the menus and had to hit escape several times just to get out of everything. I looking through the items, sounds and controls, and when I wanted to go back to the game itself I had to back out and have all three menus reappear with my only hitting esc about five or six times.
I know this second thing is a glitch. I was using my keyboard to play and as a fight started I mistakenly hit the enter key to bring up the menu. As soon as the little animate for the Father-Daughter Team attack had finished I was unable to do anything in battle expect watch the turn time tick down.
This last thing is more a nit pick. But a skip speech feature would be nice for dialogue. Especially for those that are playing the demo over again. Especially for when you mistakenly talk to the NPC's more then once because your trying to get through it.
Other then that, so far the demo's have been great. Personal I would love to see some general NPC's to talk to just to see other players bopping around the demo world, but I get that a lot of that is being held off till the full release.
I've downloaded TOME, but my Mac isn't allowing me to open it.
Hey there wonderful people of Neo-c Productions! Before I start my third bug report, BIG shoutout to Mike and Nathan currently putting so much time into clearing out issues and bugs recently. Seriously I adressed some issues here on the itch page and kept up with the build updates those past few days, and I'm almost 100% sure at 9 am (CET) today (11th October), the Build was 03-3, then went up to 03-4 this afternoon (around 2pm-ish CET) and went to 03-5 until I came back home from work. You guys are AMAZING!
So right off the bat, before I address issues I noticed on the 03-5 build, first some things I positively noticed in it. First, and I mean HOLY SHIT, you guys, like, immidiately worked in some sounds for blocking Ballug's Rollover! One HAS TO appreciate just how immidiately you react to requests and issues! You're my heroes!
Allright, second, I really like the work that has been done on the UI (especially the pause menu). Makes the experience much smoother. Also being able to use items in the overworld map is highly appreciated!
Well, time for the less pleasant part, pointing out the problems. Here goes:
#1 BUG: An issue I addressed in my last post, which is Flamey being able to trigger 'Vulcan Rocket' even if Alpha is down. Tried it again today, this time with Alpha being alive and Flamey being down. Problem doesn't seem to have been fixed yet. Of course, one step at a time! Just something that needs to be addressed! (This was posted at 10pm CET, reffering to the newest Update on the Kickstarter page, is it fixed?)
#2 SOUND: Sometimes the charging sound, when Ballug's Rollover iniatiates, sporadically doesn't trigger. Same for his selfbuff (forgot the name I just had it in my mind a second ago..). Have not yet clarified if this is a reproducable bug, will try coming weekend.
#3 GLITCH (?): Sometimes when you speak to the friendly mushroom NPCs the speech Icon (the red bubble with 3 dots) won't dissapear. When I entered a battle after speaking with the first NPC, having this issue, the bubble would still be visible up until the player characters were visible in the battlegrid. Should've made a video out of this, but will have to give it more tries to trigger this issue again. Hence why I titled this a glitch. Just an assumption, maybe sometimes the bubble's dissapearance doesn't trigger properly after NPC dialogue is finished? Or maybe the icon object clings on the screen?
Other than that, this Demo Build plays amazingly and the new skills work like a charm. Have yet to encounter any bugs from these.
Considering doing a little Test Run on the Demo like KaggyFilms to promote the game and spread the word. I'm a german Let's Player and admittetly my range and fanbase is very little compared to many others, I'll try my best doing it in english anyways! :)
Great work so far on the developing process and until next time! Cheers!
Thoroughly enjoyed the game and look forward to seeing it become a full thing. The only notes I would like to see once it is complete are as follows: first, I think it would be interesting if there were unlockable skins for party members that are important to the story. Second, I understand this is probably a plan, but I'd love to see more customization for the White Hat. The ability to create custom shapes for the slime characters by clicking and dragging, much like in PhotoShop or Flash, custom hairstyles for humanoids, etc. Third, unless you incorporate some sort of multiplayer, I like the idea of the white hat hacker just being called White Hat. Makes them seem more mysterious and interesting. Finally, and most importantly for me, movement in battle. I like the layout, but the way its set up appearance wise, it leaves me missing some form of movement similar to that of Mega Man: Battle Network. A lot of what made TOME fights so cool for me was the way characters moved, and while I understand that's more difficult to replicate in a game such as this, I think it would also add a lot in the realm of strategy and gameplay to allow you to move characters to different spaces during battle. Nylock with his "Whoosh!", allowing him to move X spaces forward and dealing damage in that area. Alpha having the Vulcan Fist place him right in front of the enemy allowing for devastating combos. Adding a "Move X spaces" to the strategy tab, especially since many of the characters are primarily melee, so it forces range to be a factor in attacks, not just mana and damage. These are just a few ideas that I would like to see, and thank you for your time.
2 years ago(+1)
Also, it reminded me of Super Mario RPG in the best possible way, and if I do not see a reference to the Waltz of the Forest, I will be extremely disappointed.
Hi I'm not able to open the demo on my mac
I'am so hyped right now, and i wich you could continue a new season of TOME!!
So I checked out the TOME RPG Demo_03_2 and was pleasantly surprised with the gameplay adjustments done so far! Triggering magic cues feels way more natural and the visual feedback of effective and non-effective moves is way better than before! Again, I added a video to this so that it's easier to reproduce the problems.
I still stumbled upon some problems while playing the demo. Hope I don't come off as a douche exploiting such things....well, off we go:
#1 Gameplay Issue: Whenever you block the Rollover attack of those Ballug enemy monsters there's never any sound effects. Blocking the attack would feel way more rewarding and satisfying with addition of some sound effects during the blocking process. Other than that, the mechanic works great!
#2 BUG: While playing, I thought to myself "Can Alpha or Flamey even use Vulcan Rocket when the other is down? So I let Alpha be killed by Dumplin's and Puddin's Team Attack and tried using Vulcan Rocket as Flamey. Strangely the attacked could still be pulled off. This raises two issues: 1. Alpha's turn (even when down) could be used for the team attack. 2. Team Attack shouldn't be executable if one of them is down!
So far only tried this when Alpha was down, but I suspect this issue being reproducable when Flamey is down and Alpha executing the team attack. May be an oversight with executing condition, but a bug nontheless.
#3 Sound Volume of Kirbopher's Energy Cannon: Whenever you execute Kirbopher's Energy Cannon on multiple enemies the sound effects also trigger as many times as there are enemies. This in itself isn't an issue, but the sound volume from each shot stack and are very loud in the end. Could you tweak the volume of those sound effects to be a bit more quite?
#4 Aggressive Mobs can trigger battles during Start Menu: Another thing I tried out because of curiosity, but if you open the start menu while aggressive enemies are around (i.e. those Hornet enemies in area 2) they will approach you and trigger a battle. As I can imagine, TOME RPG is an emulation of a MMORPG so there is technically no 'PAUSE' button....so my question is rather: Is this intended? May as well be a design choice.
#4.1. Party members pushing you into mobs: Kind of a continuation of #4. As you notice in my video during #4, party members (i.e. Flamegirl) pushes me towards the hornet enemy monster. Again, intended or game design decision? Actually this issue makes me feel way too nit-picky...but I believe it would be good if party members wouldn't be able to push you on the overworld map.
#5 Party members won't warp together with MC: It's a known issue, but I feel like the party members should also warp when the White Hat Hackers warps to the next overworld map.
#6 Characters popping out of ground after area change: So whenever the party arrives in a new area after a warp their sprites are one level below the ground initially. It feels like a few seconds after arriving in the new overworld map they are stuck to the ground.
Whenever I do a Bug Report like this I feel like such a douche for pointing them out...I still hope they help you address and fix problems easier.
Best regards from your loyal backer,
Hey Zelosq -- Thanks for the feedback so far, and I appreciate the video as it makes it a lot clearer and easier to reproduce issues. Don't feel like a douche at all. I've done this professionally for five years, and for a game in this stage I expect to see these kinds of problems -- and value it greatly when someone points them out so that I can correct them. Thanks to people like you we've stomped a lot of stability problems and will be ending this month not only with a decent base of funding to work with, but also with a more stable and more consistent build of the game working forward as our foundation. Without your feedback these would take a much longer time to find and reproduce.
The overworld is definitely the part of the game that needs the most work at present time, and we've got some plans to revise it, but we're holding back on those until after the Kickstarter's over. The overhaul we've got in mind is a bit extensive and therefore a bit risky otherwise. It won't fundamentally change in terms of graphics or overall construction, but functionally we want movement to feel less "floaty," and we want our level of control over the characters (esp. during cutscenes) to be more reliable. You can look forward to a number of the issues you've pointed out with it being addressed in the full game.
With regards to the Start Menu -- Yes, that is intentional. Chris is intent on a lot of diagetic design for this game with regards to the user interface. The pause menu behaving, as you point out, like an MMO, is a part of that.
And finally -- thank you for pointing out that issue with the combination ability. There appears to have been an oversight in our last patch to it!
Man, hearing this from you guys is really uplifting! Happy to see the spottings are appreciated!
Also appreciate Chris thinking out of the conventions with how the start menu works real-time to what happens in the overworld map!
Will continue to test Demo Builds regularly and give you feedback! Keep up the amazing work!
Although I really enjoyed the demo, I found blocking to be a real pain. Only for team blocking though. As a person who played super Mario rpg's before, I thought that there would be a way to block with your whole team.
We've had the criticism about group-blocking almost as often as the need for making chained attacks easier. I'm presently working on addressing the chained attacks, even a little more drastically than the last patch did. I'm currently thinking on the appropriate means to handle group-blocking. In the Mario & Luigi games it makes a lot of sense since you've got two characters and two buttons assigned to each of them, here it's maybe a little more ambiguous how to "map" that sort of thing, but I do agree that it would be an improvement if group attacks weren't automatically unblockable.
Just a slight glitch in the overworld in Demo_03_2:
Ah, the good old Disappearing Alpha bug. What exactly are you doing when that happens? Does he just snap down behind that spot when you walked near it?
Great demo, now with the update it works even better but I still find it hard to time the combo hits on all the races :s
2 years ago(+1)
So I downloaded the game, unzipped the .zip file, and ran the executable, but it didn't work. The disclaimer and "Neo-c Productions" showed up, but then all i got was black screen. Based on the fact that the audio was playing, I think the game was running properly, I just can't see anything. Help?
An update: it still doesn't work, even after restarting my computer. I can confirm that the game itself is working fine; I managed to make it past the character creation screen, but I still can't see anything that's happening. Also, after character creation, the game crashed, so I have a crash report now.
The battle system is based on Super Mario RPG, which is nice to see brought back in some form, but the prototype didn't show off any kind of surprising twist on this - which was what I was looking for specifically.
I always question the decision behind building 2D turn-based RPG projects in Unity rather than RPG Maker MV. Using Unity for this genre never feels like the optimal decision when a more tailored engine already exists. There will always be a lot more development to be done in Unity for features that already exist as default in RPG Maker MV, I don't think I'd ever be able to shake off that knowledge if my next project used Unity to make a 2D turn-based RPG.
I remember the TOME web-series, it was very good for an amateur project, not sure how it will translate to an actual game. The name "Terrain of Magical Expertise" still feels like a forced acronym from disjointed words; from the offset it had the branding of an amateur project with the name alone, it's going to be incredibly difficult to shake that off and build quality branding to sell this.
The project itself has a lot of very high hurdles that need to be overcome (comes with the genre), the prototype doesn't give an indication that it is capable of doing this (likely because it is a very early prototype and is very bare-bones, it would be unfair to expect a prototype to demonstrate everything). I'm worried that this prototype was revealed not because it would demonstrate the special selling point of the game, but because the development hit an implementation milestone, which worries me as I'm not seeing much here that can't be built in RPG Maker MV in less than a month in terms of systems implementation.
$75k is no-where near enough to develop a turn-based RPG; needs about 3x that at minimum (and that's a stingy minimum for a team of 5). I've seen projects with more experienced teams and larger budgets fail with this particular genre. It's an incredibly demanding genre for writing, systems design and artwork - especially if it's a 2D game where the amount of artwork needed will exponentially grow overtime. I'm guessing the Kickstarter is supplementing additional starting capital, rather than supporting the entire development.
I'd very much like to see a prototype 2.
2 years ago (+1)
So my buds and I did a video of this game the other day and gave our thoughts as we played. Myself, an avid TOME fan, my roommate with a casual familiarity with TOME, and my third person with no experience with TOME, here to judge the game clearly on its own merits.
- Animation and art style are very cute and appealing
- Love the idea of having your party follow you
- Having Mario RPG-style combat where each type of action is tied to a button is a great homage
- I did not notice any bugs during my playthrough as a Crystal Cybernetic Brawler on a PC.
Cons (and I'm sure this will all be tightened up in the full release):
- party members fall too far behind when moving around
- when you teleport, your allies should teleport with you
- basic attack timed hits would be easier with a gauge to show when to hit
- magic attack gauges should remain on screen for a couple of seconds before requiring you to start pressing buttons
- when choosing a target for a skill or attack it should show the highlighted enemy's HP
- dialogue should not autoforward in case someone isn't paying attention during any one line
- for characters too far off to the left their four-button menu at the start of their turn gets cut off
I keep looking for an upvote button, because this is very useful feedback. Thank you!
Overworld's definitely in the roughest shape at the moment, and it'll take a little bit before we get to revising it. I definitely concur with your comments on that front, though.
I've been tightening up the battle system as the campaign has been ongoing. I think that by not this build that just went up, but the next one, I can probably address a few of your comments there.
MAC OS DOWNLOAD:
Hello thank you for making a mac version! The thing is, I downloaded it, but I'm having trouble opening the game. The two options I have for downloading apps is "apps only from app store" and "app store and other identified developers". I have the latter applied. But when I try to open the game, it says it can't open because it comes from an unidentified developer. There's an option to "open anyway" but it does not work. I'm not sure if I'm the only mac user having this problem. If you could look into it, I would appreciate it a lot!
GAME DESIGN: Don't know if it has been mentioned anywhere else, but whenever a character gets relieved of Paralyze, the textbox shows after the character's turn.
Scenario: Kirbopher got paralyzed in the MatTheorist battle. I suppose there is a certain percentage chance he can't move due to paralyzation, so I could do attacks every now and then. After a few turns it went like this:
1. Strike as Kirbopher
2. Textbox "Kirbopher is no longer paralyzed" appears on NEXT CHARACTER's turn.
Just putting it out here, wouldn't it make more sense for the textbox to appear before (here) Kirbopher's turn? Can you trigger such events before the turn?
EDIT: Attached the video link for better reference.
Great demo. I feel like any face button should be usable for guarding rather than just the strategize button. And I might have been wrong, but it looked like when enemies targeted multiple team members, only one of them actually guarded.
And one more thing, this might be a pet peeve, but there's a pause between battle menus navigating and being able to select the next option. I often click early and it gives the illusion that my input was just getting dropped. I'd recommend making the pause shorter, or if it has to wait for the menu to load, maybe put in a short buffer time.
I've had a couple lag issues when loading the overworld, but I'm pretty sure that's because my laptop sucks. It also overheated during the demo, but it overheats all the time, so...
In any case, what I was able to play was amazing, although I'd advise that you state that the space bar will initiate dialouge. I was randomly pressing buttons for a little bit before I figured it out. Overall, I'm loving everything!
BUG: A Game freeze bug.
It happend during the battle with matpat and the others, after i defeated him i put kirbo on defense by stradegy and the game just stopped.
just in case if it has to do with my character i was an animal type, brawler and natural element
But so far nice job guys
I found a pretty fatal flaw in the game, MatPat is in it.
BUG: During the Rockoon fight the White-Hat Hacker was defeated right before its turn. It then still allowed me to have my turn before going back to the defeated sprite. From this point I could no longer do anything in the game because it seemed as though the game thought it was still White-Hat's turn. I was playing humanoid nature spellcaster if thats anything to do with it.
-Otherwise loving it so far!
I played the demo four times in a row and I found three different glitches. While I playing for the first time, Skeight threw out his bladed yoyo and the animation/graphic of the yoyo was struck on Alpha, it didn't return to him throughout the whole battle. Later on the same fight Kirbopher got hit by an attack and went down normally; however, I could still attack with him on the same turn despite having no health and he was in his death animation. These glitches never happened again. The fourth time I played the demo, something odd happened. After a party member recovers for the paralysis status, immediately a text pop up saying something like "Flamegirl can't move she's paralysis" despite the fact that they no longer have the paralysis symbol next to their name and the message prior said that the were cured. This happened two or three times? Overall this was a very fun demo. I'm looking forward to the finished product. Best of luck!
Pretty gucci demo <3 a little nit pick on how slow some of the move's sliders come up when u pick that certain move and i found a bug for when facing the hackers when i let the timer run out it and after they attack i cant do a thing besides close the game. hope that doesn't make it into the final :D
hey kirb i love the demo its soo cool the only problem i found was well there is a few but its related anyway here i go . after i made my animalistic weponary infernal and i clicked yes to finalize it, it stopped for a bit then it took ages to get into the game like to get to alpha flamey and kirb then whenever i started a fight it took about a few mins to get into the fight then took longer to get back to get to the overworld after finishing the fight could you possibly fix this?
Congrats on launching the kick starter. It looks like it's already
reached more than half its funding by the time I post this. I'll try to
donate as well.
I played the demo, its a good work in progress. I had quiet a bit of
fun. The new art designs for our heroes are really nice. I wish to bring
up some issues that I noticed. Obviously things will be fixed, but
these may be issues your team may or may not be aware of.
First one is resolution. The demo does support my settings, which is
nice. However I have a 2K monitor, and I notice all the character
sprites were a bit pixelated or low res. I get the feeling they looks
fine on 1080p monitors. I recommend for the character assets, you may
need to have them at 8k resolution. 8K to not only future proof it (good
chance by 2020 8k monitors will be common), but many today do have 4k
monitors as well. The backgrounds from the demo did not have this issue.
Sadly higher res assets do cause the game files to increase, but you
may want to look into a way to up the res while keeping game file low.
Second was cut off. Not sure if this was also my resolution issue, but
when in the party, Kirbopher's battle option commands are cut off.
Luckily you know what they say because everyone has the same four
options, but it looks bizarre. You may have to shrink the battle screen,
the battle option screens, or move the battle option screens to a
Controls were good, but felt lose. Movement on the overworld feels like
I'm gliding on ice in terms of speed. Luckily you do stop on a dime and
don't slide. Combos were explained via the kickstarter page, but I do
feel the in game demo, and the overall game should have a tutorial
showing how the combos work. At times, I felt like I got it perfectly,
and then I did it again and nothing happened. It felt inconsistent. Same
with block bottom (hitting A on my controller). Nothing before hand
explains that it can act as a stun move. That said, I wish this move was
a counter system instead when the baddies attack. There kind of is with
some of the weaker bad guys (I stunned the bugs when they attacked),
but you guys may want to look into a system similar to Mario & Luigi
RPG. A fun reward system for players who are paying attention vs being
Overall, glad to see what I am seeing. I hope this feedback helps.
The one bug i found was clipping into stairs.
I found a bad glitch, if you bring up the menu in front of a bee enemy and he touches you, then it freezes the game.
Also the menu doesn't freeze the world
Oh yeah, also, if an enemy uses an attack that targets multiple party members you can't block it at all, and that can get pretty frusturating.
This bug has been noted and we'll be addressing it in the next update we post. Thanks for the catch!
I did some further reasearch and playtesting and found out that if any enemy bumps into you while you're in the menu, then it will softlock the game.
I also found out that the menu can open during the battle transition, yes, this can also happen on bosses as well if you press enter right after there done talking and right before the battle starts.
Heya Kirb! Firstly, the game looks, and the demo is great! Totally backing this. May have encountered a bug though. On the last boss fight, accidentally opened up the settings menu right as the cutscene ended, and could hear it close on the fade to black (intentional close).
Right after the in-battle cutscene, when the first turn started, there was no longer a display for the action options, and the turn did not progress after the timer reached zero, essentially a soft-lock. Not sure if there is a place for this, but thought it would be good to mention here.
Again, (likely, since the battle was only attempted once) steps to reproduce:
1. Begin Rockoon Cutscene
2. Open settings menu with Esc (was done near the end of the cutscene)
3. Close the menu during the fade to black (can hear the sound of it closing for reference)
Expected Result --
In-battle cutscene proceeds, and then the battle occurs as normal
Actual Result --
After in-battle cutscene, the first character (in this case, Flamegirl) is unable to make a movement, and the movement options screen does not appear. Once the timer reaches 0, instead of moving to the next player, the timer remains and results in a 'lock'
This may also just be my own computer borking. But better safe than sorry. Best of luck with everything!
I can't wait to play the full game I donated to help.
Well.... about time.