Evergreen

Jan 4, 2022 at 3:50 AM
Senior Member
"I, Ikachan. The Life and Documentary of the OrigiNAL SQuiD."
Join Date: May 31, 2018
Location: under your bed ;)
Posts: 158
Age: 20

~ EVERGREEN ~​



Evergreen is a Cave Story prequel mod that I've been working on for a while that I'm finally getting around to making a thread for!
There's a demo out already, and I'm currently working on the next update (though I've learnt my lesson with Festive Quest lol, I won't be stressing myself by setting a release date).

Set towards the end of the war, it follows an amnesiac soldier roped into assisting a group of researchers who've been scattered across the island evacuate after their outpost is attacked.
In the process of doing this, the soldier discovers the base he was seemingly stationed at, or at least the others seem to recognise him... even though it doesn't jog any memories, that probably doesn't mean it goes any deeper than that, right?

DOWNLOAD DEMO (Doukclub)


Screen Shot 2022-01-04 at 2.08.40 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-01-04 at 2.09.51 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-01-04 at 2.12.06 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-01-04 at 2.12.49 pm.png

Q: How long?

A: Honestly I have no idea. The demo's decently long, and that's about... a third of what I have planned, maybe? A quarter? I dunno. While I have the story and vague locations fully planned out, I'm redesigning/touching up the moment-to-moment stuff all the time, so... I guess I'll update this with an estimate once the mod's done.

Q: IS THIS UNDERTALE/DELTARUNE INSP-

A: Yes, I was inspired by some aspects from those games. However - wording this vaguely to not spoil anything - the reasons for aforementioned aspects are different. Also, this mod will not feature any fourth-wall or meta commentary.
re. the intro screen, honestly, I didn't even realise the parallels until I was halfway through drawing it lol

Q: What's with all the OCs?

A: It started off as a modfest submission featuring a couple old Cave Story OC concepts that I decided to throw into a mod and slap some vague backstory, most of which was half-assed on the spot (including its setting). It then, uh, spiralled into its own thing that I'm now blatantly using to actually do something with my various OCs.
 
Jan 4, 2022 at 3:46 PM
Um... Chosen One? Yeah that'll work. : P
"Keep on rollin'!"
Join Date: Oct 7, 2013
Location: India
Posts: 472
Things I should be doing: Working on applications for grad school
Things I want to be doing: Literally Anything Else
Things I'm doing: Playing this shiny new mod I found on cave story dot org

This is the first time I'm doing that thing where you make notes on your thoughts as you play along. Sorry if it's somewhat incoherent:
1. really loving the plant aesthetic, right from the 'loading' screen and splash graphics
2. oh, title theme is 'plant', how apposite
3. why did I immediately die? is this a bug? plot-relevant..?
4. nice, the way the centre spot in the start point is lit up
5. just curious, are you a plant nerd irl??
6. I love text-heavy mods. you did a good job setting the mood and adding to the lore with all the notes and descriptions and stuff
7. the blood on the id card was a nice touch
8. the way the first life capsule was hidden was really clever, the breakable blocks were quite the red herring (I thought you'd have to return with a weapon)
9. woah nice tileset
10. no offence but the mossy caves level design is kinda boring
11. Again, the atmosphere building with all the little details is really well done. You make it very palpable that this place was abandoned in a hurry
12. did the people who left in such a hurry have time to diligently switch off all the sprinklers?
13. I just realized that the brown background tiles (the ones originally used in the power room) are placed in a somewhat random way, rather than methodically tesselated. This gives a nice, organic look
14. There's some message that starts to appear but quickly disappears just before 'this is the worst gun ever'
15. The life capsule in the Outside isn't reachable right now, right?
16. oh darn I should've tried going back to Outer Grasstown's 'no entry' part now that I have this gun...
17. The face portrait for the mimiga wearing brown looks kinda weird. im not sure how it could be improved, but there's something funny about it
18. '...despite there being a serviceable bed nearby' is this a dig at yourself not making a dedicated laying-in-bed sprite?
19. if the teleporter isn't turned on, how does it have blinking lights?
20. 'Akahana', huh...
21. I like the way the researcher's glasses turned transparent as you talk. feels like a nice metaphor for getting to know him better, or something like that
22. no offence but 'Usagi' is kinda a lazy name ngl
23. I just realized there's no shimmering blue rectangle thingy when you teleport. is that intentional?
24. There's a message that immediately disappears (and is hence unreadable) right before 'there's a scuffle' (in the Frigid Caverns)
25. After knocking at the door in Frigid Caverns and returning, 'you've found Brooke?' Was that Brooke? Idk, we were never told so
26. I like how the Safehouse ost changes to Safety, as if we're 'settling in', kinda. Nice touch
27. Arthur's face! changed so drastically! (when knocking at the Outpost)
28. 'Oyaji'? Really?
29. What happens if you don't talk to that mimiga in the Outpost and they don't run off, dropping their key?
30. There's no door there, the oddly festive robot seems to just punch at a background tile. all it accomplishes is giving you the missile launcher as far as I can see?
31. We know the missile launcher has limited ammo and all that, you may want to cut that message from when you get it
32. Waking the robot again restarts the boss fight but the boss itself is nowhere to be seen, what's going on?
33. There's a screen that shows for about a second before you wake up in Claus' house, maybe you should show that for two seconds, it goes before you really get to look at it
34. I honestly don't understand why this person/robot who tried to kill us is now fighting with us, did I not understand the plot?
35. I was worried there'd be a lot of backtracking with the left/right decision with the deleets, but it went around in a circle, thank goodness
36. Wow, I've been playing this in more or less one sitting and I've already forgotten how I got out of the Labyrinth. not sure if just another instance of my terrible memory or if the game was just that engrossing
37. The way Claus just teleports you away feels like lazy writing. They could've shown you a hidden shortcut, or something like that, idk
38. I wanted to read more of the silly conversation :<
39. I just realized, it feels like at some point you kind of dropped the overarching plant-based theme?
40. 'I always knew you were secretly a furry' was like someone materializing in front of me and punching me in the stomach before I have time to react
41. Aww nice ending picture!

Tldr: Very fun and polished mod with a lot of promise! Nice levels, and I also love your OCs and their characterization/dialogue! (but you suck at naming im sorry)
 
Jan 4, 2022 at 11:48 PM
Senior Member
"I, Ikachan. The Life and Documentary of the OrigiNAL SQuiD."
Join Date: May 31, 2018
Location: under your bed ;)
Posts: 158
Age: 20
(but you suck at naming im sorry)
haha yeah, usagi and oyaji are actually some of my oldest ocs, dating back to my first mod - they're definitely terrible names but they're funny to me (or usagi's is, at least) so i never changed them. akahana's initial concept dates back to around that time too, from an unreleased sequel to aforementioned first mod, though his character has changed quite a bit and his name is now just an unfortunate coincidence in-universe.

as for the other stuff (in a rush so i can't respond to it all, apologies):

3. the dying immediately is plot relevant ;]
10. i've had other people mention the level design for mossy cavers is a bit boring, i'll try and spice it up next update i suppose
12. maybe there's a central valve, i could add that actually lol
14. some dialogue missing a <NOD is intentional, that'll happen a few times - eventually it'll be explained
15. nope but you can get it with a level 3 rifle
17. hmm, it could be the angle of the eyes/how the mouth's drawn? if you figure it out let me know
19. the safehouse teleporter? i'll fix that, originally you first entered after it was turned on, i guess i forgot to update the lights
23: that's a bug, whoops
24: i actually don't remember if that's a bug or not, i'll check
25: i'll make that clearer, but yeah
29: you need to startle brooke into running to progress (unless i fucked up the flags again???) since you need the key to unlock the terminal to open the door
30: bug, oops, there should be a door
31: noted
32: also a bug...
33: noted
34: hmm, i can try and make that a little more clearer - the tdlr being she was ordered to throw you in jail (as you've been marked as rogue), but feels comfortable overriding those orders when nobody's around to see it due to seemingly being close with you pre-amnesia, for lack of a better and spoiler-free way to put it
37: noted, thanks, i guess i felt the area had gone on long enough but i can go with a pipe or short passageway or something?
39: not my intention, i'll see what i can do to keep it going through those areas - the next one should be better, at least
40/41: pffft (and thanks!)

thanks for playing it, though, i really appreciate the feedback and i'm glad you enjoyed it overall!
 
Jan 6, 2022 at 9:58 AM
Indie game enthusiast
"What is a man!? A miserable pile of secrets! But enough talk, have at you!"
Join Date: Apr 18, 2006
Location: Forever wandering the tower...!
Posts: 1765
...Why did it end?? Why did it end?!

Really interesting so far. Your work is always wonderful Eli. Not sure I can offer much useful feedback though, but here goes...
Hmm let's see...
Well I was able to catch a ride with some of the creatures to access places I probably shouldn't? But, it didn't seem to cause any issues. For example: The shiny chest I reached through nefarious means (bouncing on a bat) near the start didn't react when I tried to open it D: (...and much later on, in the icy cave; I could ride a beetle to reach a flower~)

Oh, and I must say, multi-dialogue is a joy in this. I was actually sad when there was less inner-monologue as the action began picking up! Though that sadness was quickly replaced by revelations and curious possibilities. (Learning the time frame, and the setting... It's the prequel I always wanted to make...) I do wonder if there are plenty of consequence ridden choices to be made? Like leaving a certain someone, after taking their security card... That's going to come back and bite me for sure... And when I replayed the Captain's fight I actually thought the amount of kills affected his dialogue... (But it was a skip dialogue~)

Hmm... After retrieving the teleporter part, I was a little let down that his portrait art didn't reflect surprise or relief, upon successful retrieval of what he needed. Guess I can chalk it up to being a hard to read individual...

ah, and I was really gunning for a pacifist path at the start... I had hope! ... At the least it seems like a creative take on Cave Story's option to avoid fighting Balrog? Clever...

...On some reflection on my actions... what kind of pacifist takes a security card from the prisoner and runs off with it D: (Bad ending flag triggered...)

Don't think I noticed any bugs, but was mostly just being absorbed in the adventure. Next time I play it, I'll have to be thorough!
Also I didn't mention the custom art, but it's impressive... Can't stress it enough.

No custom music right? I think it was all Cave Story? Hmm...

...Well, I think I better replay Festive Quest to ease this desire to keep playing!
Thank you so much for the mod!
 
Jan 6, 2022 at 10:24 AM
Senior Member
"I, Ikachan. The Life and Documentary of the OrigiNAL SQuiD."
Join Date: May 31, 2018
Location: under your bed ;)
Posts: 158
Age: 20
- i'll have to come up with something for that chest if it's technically possible to reach in the current build, lmao - the flower you can get through 'legit' means (lvl 3 rifle, i believe?), though, they'll be a collectable!
- don't worry, there'll be more "inner-monologue" later on, they're just a little distracted right now
- at the start i had some vague aspirations to make endings heavily dependant on morality, gained or lost through choices, but at the moment i think it's too messy; there'll be multiple endings and some choices (ie. the prisoner and their keycard) will affect things, but not to a major degree in terms of progression like i'd initially planned
- while he's certainly grateful you got the teleporter part, he just doesn't show expressions much... i don't know if it'll be pointed out in-game, but there's no real reason, that's just how he is! maybe i'm projecting a little of myself there LMAO
- there are some custom orgs, actually - i believe the only one implemented in the current build is 'red alert' by chugga fan, which plays when you trigger the alarm in the robot base - there's some more in OrgView, though ;]

thanks as well for the feedback and i hope you'll enjoy the next area when it's done!
 
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Jan 6, 2022 at 7:10 PM
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"Fresh from the Bakery"
Join Date: Dec 9, 2017
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Age: 23
Looks good. Looking forward to this.
 
Jan 10, 2022 at 12:27 AM
Senior Member
"I, Ikachan. The Life and Documentary of the OrigiNAL SQuiD."
Join Date: May 31, 2018
Location: under your bed ;)
Posts: 158
Age: 20
some WIP teaser screenshots for the next area - an abandoned mine dating back to when humans from the surface first began to explore the island that's long since been overrun by pignons... they seem friendly enough???
Screen Shot 2022-01-10 at 11.22.40 am.png
Screen Shot 2022-01-09 at 11.06.40 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-01-08 at 2.30.24 pm.png
 
Jan 10, 2022 at 3:08 AM
Long-term planner
"Life begins and ends with Nu."
Join Date: Dec 31, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 2103
Age: 25
Very nice, looks like you've put a lot of work into this mod, with the new levels, new designs, and new characters. I have this mod in my queue. Right now I'm playing Plotbomb, then after that I'll play Doukutsu Randamu, and then after that, I'll play this mod. Maybe by then you will have made a release with the content you're teasing in the screenshots.
 
Jan 18, 2022 at 11:29 PM
Senior Member
"I, Ikachan. The Life and Documentary of the OrigiNAL SQuiD."
Join Date: May 31, 2018
Location: under your bed ;)
Posts: 158
Age: 20
couple more teaser screenshots:
Screen Shot 2022-01-19 at 10.24.31 am.png

Screen Shot 2022-01-19 at 10.25.11 am.png

Maybe by then you will have made a release with the content you're teasing in the screenshots.
while the next area's coming along nicely (i have vague plans to release a new demo soon, i hope, though that'll most likely be only posted to discord), it'll be a while before anything's announced here, since i want to save this thread for announcing major updates i consider 100% finished :V

looking forward to your playthrough regardless, though!
 
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