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Game Design

Upcoming Changes in Complete Demo Greenlands What Version

So, I hope to get a public version of Greenlands out in a few weeks. This will be of the TimTams smaller version. I'd like to do the "full" game after at some point, but we'll see. I think it takes more doin' than I thought it would initially (RIP me). At the same time, combining those story elements into the smaller version could still provide some of the punch... so we'll see. The two might get merged.

Things that will definitely be in a proper release (in about a month or two maybe?):
  • Exploration to gain skills. Everybody is actually supposed to have a unique way of gaining skills, which is all planned out, but I didn't have time to implement it except for Kay and Fjorm yet. So, that'll be incorporated. (This also means that the core team won't gain skills from leveling anymore.)
  • Expanded world map. I was gonna cram like 7 bosses into this world map I made for the smaller version, but it still wasn't quite what I wanted. All 12 Monster Lords will be present, and I'm gonna stretch out the game world a bit.
  • Level cap of 20, not 10.Starting cap will be changed to 8. This also means that the game will be completely rebalanced.
  • More characters. Most characters are totally made anyway, although three more need a bit more love and attention. "Liberty" and "Craze" will be their normal "Lucian" and "Perkata," and will be obtainable by doing sidequests like the others. Erina's sister, Gavin the Hero, and a certain snake witch will also be recruitable...
  • Shitloads of banter. You may or may not already be impressed by the amount of battle banter. There will be more.

Things that may or may not survive:
  • Multiple endings. At least, as many. My original idea had at least 9 or so ways the game could end. I think I will pull this off a bit more like Chrono Trigger (the game's inspiration, natch) and have a critical path but then a few ways to break it, instead of multiple critical paths to align yourself on. So much work...
  • A bit more seriousness. Lines like "Fuck characterization, let's go kill things!" will be cut entirely. While all the current sidequests are actually just truncated versions of the ones planned for the original game, they will also likely be smoothed out a little tone-wise. Proper Juneau isn't much of a swearer, for example, and Tal'hn has a bit more respect for her.
  • The "DELETE LEGIONWOOD" ending. That was a joke for Tim-Tams. I might reference it somewhere, but ........ don't get your hopes up lol

okay thanks.

oh yeah, and if anybody is interested in giving iterative versions a go, let me know. the game is still weirdly non-linear and i'm sure there will be ways to break it that i don't anticipate. no pressure, but i might even have a version for you in a few days.... so please look forward to it (tm)


World Info: Religion

Religion and the Goddess
One being, many forms.

On the world of Gaia, there is but one Goddess. Different cultures see her in different forms, however, which informs their religious practices. There are also those, like Juneau, who consider themselves deists -- they believe that the Goddess left this planet long ago and cares not for humans.

It is hard to deny Her existence, what with Juneau gaining her powers of Purification and all, so surely she's around. But in what form, and for what purpose? Here's what the people of Gaia believe.

Musics believe in the Grand Muse Illusandra, whose divine inspirations are commissioned and cataloged by the Holy Conductor. The Holy Conductor is wed to and as powerful as the Empress within the Holy Illusen Empire, where the Music tradition is often found.

Music tradition is that of creation, with stiff punishments for those who would destroy artwork or decry the artistry of another... unless the Grand Choir (those who work under the Conductor) or Holy Guard (knights of the Empire) take offense. Offense would be taken at work that celebrates undeath, promotes civil unrest, or suggests that the entirety of Gaia is not worthy of the Empire's jurisdiction.

Juneau begins her journey in the Musical, the most famous shrine to Illusandra. Tucked away in a mountain valley, pilgrims often made visits before the monsters grew too numerous.

Though the elves are at the forefront of Gaian belief, there are humans that also follow a more natural order. Gaians believe that Mother Gaia is part of all natural things, and seek to focus on only materials that have her imbued within. It is rare to see a Gaian with a sword or a roof made of steel, for example. Many Gaians are also vegetarian, though not all. (Tal'hn is a strict vegetarian, though he will kill beasts that endanger him if he must.)

Gaians also believe that no one person can know all of Mother Gaia, for she shows a difference face to each living being. It is not a personalized religion, however, and there are traditional rituals that take place on certain days of the year to glorify the Mother. While adherence to rules about carcass disposal and proper tree cutting (among other examples) might falter in recent days, the traditions are still there.

Ulians worship Ul'ul in their own way. Ulians tend to live in the Drywild, the curious desert-forest of southern Gaia. There is not much to say about Ul'ul, for while being of one flowing and ethereal form, each follower is asked to participate in their own way. Though there are some commonalities, such as dancing in thunderstorms and the organization of frenetic beast hunts, all Ulians are unique in their practice.

One practice among Ulians that has spread from Drywild tradition (to the point where it's unclear whether it is, in fact, a Drywild or Ulian tradition) is that each person takes their own name when they so choose. A child may toddle as Gransen, but choose the name Justice as a young adult. Nicknames are exceedingly rare, and it is expected that you keep track of each person's current title.

Unlike most of the world, the citizens of the Wyrmtail Archipelago follow no particular religion, making even the Ulians seem tightly organized. Those who have seen the wyrms, however, believe them to be aspects of the Goddess. As such, there is a collective belief -- it is simply not of great importance to everyday life. Some people in port cities advertise divination by wyrmscale, but there is no documented truth to the practice.

*Footnote: Ul'ul is inspired by, but not a direct copy of, a Pathfinder goddess.


Character Bio: Tal'hn

TAL'HN, the Emissary
“Things can change. You might even see Gaia in a pleasant light."
Age: 58
Home: Steppe Rose, in the south-eastern Drywild
Religion: Gaian
Favorite Meal: Herbal tea with nutcake
Song: Dispatch’s “Walk With You”

Each Purifier is sent an Emissary to aid them in the ways of the world and instruct them on their duties. With it being around a century since the last Purifer emerged, the ‘Hn lineage was morbidly unprepared for Juneau being chosen by Mother Gaia. It has only been two years since a terrible forest fire took the lives of most of the ‘Hn, leaving only Tal’hn and his nephew Gre’hn. And, to make matters more confusing, the previous Emissary -- Jul’hn, Tal’hn’s grandfather -- never returned, leaving his children to rule the elves of the Drywild without guidance.

And so, Gre’hn and Tal’hn made a deal. Tal’hn would heed Mother Gaia’s call to be Emissary, and the inexperienced Gre’hn would take the Maple Seat. Tal’hn’s personal reasoning was that saving the world is ultimately more important than the fate of the elves, and that Gre’hn would fail at either task that was given to him…

Rationality steers Tal’hn, though he often keeps his judgments to himself. He knows that he is inherently lonely, what with losing his partner, parents, and children overnight, but is determined to fill that void with Juneau and their shared task. Much to his chagrin, then, is her capricious and willful nature. Tal’hn hopes to shape that strong will into a potent force of Purification. In success or failure, he will do what he can for Juneau and Mother Gaia.

In battle, Tal’hn has the highest Power in the game, allowing him to excel at punishing foes with Primal and Storm spells. He does have a defensive side and can provide some healing, which is very rare outside of items in Greenlands. If you let him keep himself alive, Tal’hn will bear his full force against he and Juneau’s foes!

Screaming Star - Tal'hn shoots two magical arrows, dealing Storm damage that grows with each buff on him. Requires a bow.
Germination - Tal'hn deals Primal damage, then inserts a Seed. In two turns, it will deal heavy damage and inflict stat debuffs.
Totem - Tal'hn chooses a Totem ally. They deal 20% more damage but take half of Tal'hn's damage for him. Requires a staff.
Soulweaver - Tal'hn Regenerates an ally's Health for four turns. Casting this spell lengthens everybody's Regen.


Character Bio: Erina

ERINA, the Martial Artist
“This has never been about saving the world, Juneau. Not for me."
Age: 27
Home: Melete Abbey, in the northern Holy Illusen Empire
Religion: Music, but not really a church-goer
Favorite Meal: Red meat, nothing fancy
Song: The Strumbellas’ “Rhinestone”

Bearing the weight of knowing why the world is collapsing would be too much for most anybody, yet Erina feels it even more deeply. After Erina’s mother died birthing her sister, her father dedicated himself to his research in a dangerously manic fashion. Now, he threatens the entirety of Gaia with his mad experiments.

Erina is quiet, observant, and penitent. She has spent her adult life training at Melete Abbey, finding a new father figure in Claude, an otherwise solitary martial artist living there. The past decade has allowed her to at least partially heal the wounds of a broken childhood, though a rash and uncouth side tends to emerge when Erina encounters her father or sister.

Erina believes that the Purifier is necessary to stop her father’s plans, and thus seeks Juneau out despite the dangers of travel even within the Empire. Whether or not Erina can handle Juneau herself, however, is the real question.

In battle, Erina focuses on stringing together combos of moves. She cannot access certain attacks out of order, but she makes up for this by growing stronger as battle goes on. Erina’s reflexes also allow her to effectively counter more oafish foes, though her Health is low enough that she might not be an ideal tank. Some example skills:

Skullcrusher - Erina bashes a foes head in, possibly Stunning them if they have at least three debuffs.
Break the Pattern - Erina breaks her Martial Rhythm to suddenly unleash a devastating kick that knocks stat buffs off.
Rend the Veil - Erina strikes so quickly that she has doubled accuracy. Demons are Stunned and removed from Phaseshift.*
Gut Instinct - Erina has a 35% chance to counter physical attacks with a double-hit of her own. This increases to 70% if she dodged the attack.

*Phaseshift allows Demons to hide in another dimension between attacks.


Character Bio: Juneau

JUNEAU, the Purifier
“What would that have to do with me? I'm just here to kill monsters.”
Age: 23
Home: White Harbor, in South Nordenheim
Religion: Deist, but forced to recognize the Goddess
Favorite Meal: Anything pasta, but not with red sauce
Song: Vance Joy’s “Riptide”

Juneau, our heroine, has been chosen by a Goddess she does not care about in order to Purify the monsters that encroach on human settlements. Purification allows her to dissolve monsters into aether, returning them to the natural world. Normally, a Purifier will clean up around major cities, thus enabling the military to spread out and purge elsewhere. Then, the hero fades into obscurity…

Oh, but not Juneau. Upset at the lack of a Purifier for decades as her people were pushed from the frontiers of Nordenheim to the southern tundra, this wintry warrior has it out for all monsters, everywhere. Her plan is to Purify the Monster Lords, the twelve great beings that birth monsters in the first place. After all, with no Lord, the underlings must die off soon after.

Ultimately, Juneau is a hometown girl who isn't afraid to get a little dirty. She'll take the most direct route possible regardless of most consequences... or at least, she says she will. That confidence and bravado will have to be put to the test by the monsters of Gaia.

In battle, Juneau wields swords, spears, and shields to buff her allies and freeze her foes. She mostly plays support, with even her attacks aiding others’ kits. She learns new abilities by recruiting new party members -- Tal’hn’s advice to form a small army is a grand idea! Some example skills:

Winter’s Edge - Juneau attacks an enemy, usually inflicting Chill (-20% evasion) for two turns.
Frostbite - Juneau slashes twice. Hitting a Chilled target lets her immediately cast a Water spell upon all foes.
North Star - Juneau draws Aggro to an ally. If she has Tough (a defense buff), the ally gets it too.
Bonds of Fate - Juneau and an ally share all buffs between them.
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