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Progress Report

New Year! New Goals!

Happy New Year!

Phew 2021 was a tough year...But we've finally made it to 2022! Hurray!

I've been a little quiet on Reindeer Story, mostly due to how tough work has been been and lack of energy as a result. But I've still been plugging away behind the scenes!

Proud to say I've got all the key maps, mechanics and scenes of the game done! So the project is officially at 50% Completion! I've also got a new graphic made for the game's banner/cover art!



2022 and beyond!

What's next for 2022? If 2021 was about building the skeleton of the game 2022 is about fleshing it out!



Now that I've got a structure to work with I can properly create the content and fill in the gaps I left. I've avoided putting general NPCs, treasure, etc. in the maps so that I wouldn't write general dialogue that's out of synch with the story.

Battles - developing Enemies and Bosses to reflect increasing challenge!
Dialogue - General Dialogue
Graphics - replace any placeholders.
Treasure/Collectables - distributing Platforms - Getting the demo onto Stream
Music - Commissioning the games music
Optional Content - Maps and scenes, alternate endings(?),etc.
Demo - Creating a demo for 2022 which will replace the prototype.

By the end of 2022 I'd aim to have a version of the game that is playable finish to end with no placeholders. I'll also want to have a new demo that features the Prologue and 1st Chapter!

2023 will be a year of refining where I'll to ensure maximum quality for release in Winter 2023! I'm thinking of selling the full game for £6 which works out to about $8.

Thanks for reading! Happy New Year!

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/11637/screenshots/Thumbnail_769_432.png


- Azzie

Progress Report

Over the Hump! (Milestone 4 Complete!)

Hey It’s Azzie, working hard!



The 1st pass of chapter 3 is done! I've also went back and did a little bit of polish. I got the Chapter 2 End Boss encounter drafted. I've also split the equipment screen into a Equip and Skills screen for ease of use. I've also designed a lot of new sprites for characters and monsters to battles!

I've made head way into chapter 4's maps, mechanics graphics and script! I'm officially over the half way mark of the game's story! and quarter in terms of a complete game!




2021 - Development (25% complete)
Prologue(Tinsel Town, Mount Fairsteppe) –Finished (Town Houses, General Dialogue)
Chapter 1(Snowzone) – Finished (Some sprites)
Chapter 2(Autumn Forest, Knight Games)- Finished (Todo: Mini Bosses, Encounters, Some sprites, Town Houses)
Chapter 3(Toy Town) - Finished 1st pass (To Do: 1 Boss, 1 Miniboss, some encounters, Town Houses)

Up Next
Chapter 4(Pleasure Palace & Magical Mists) - target 1st November
• Maps & Mechanics (50%)
• Encounters(0%)
• Graphics(50%)
• Writing(80%)


The next chapter is Chapter 4. It's the biggest and most important one in the game! It spans a lot of locations, will have a lot of optional bosses.

Check out the Chapter 4 locales!
Sweet Street
https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/11637/screenshots/ScreensScreen_rm_Sweet_Street_1_25.png

Cool Cross Roads
https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/11637/screenshots/ScreensScreen_rm_BonBonCrossRoads_02_7.png

Magical Mists
https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/11637/screenshots/ScreensScreen_spookywoods_900.png

Pleasure Palace
https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/11637/screenshots/concept_chapter4_PNG.png

??????
https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/11637/screenshots/Mystery_2.png


If that wasn't enough I plan to add some sub areas to the locations in chapter 4 in my second pass! It's that important! It's basically the most pivotal part of the game! It's pretty exciting to work on and I want to make it the best it can be!

2022 and beyond!

The end of the year approacheth! 2022 is going to be a year where I'll refine each chapter! I'll also be getting in touch with musicians to commission music, artists to do art, I might even commission some more skilled pixel artists than myself to polish up some of the bigger sprites for me.

Then I'll review it, put out a demo to replace the prototype and perhaps give the full game to some trusted people to test. I want Reindeer Story to be a game people really enjoy so to ensure it meets a high quality standard I may delay it into Winter 2023 rather than Winter 2022.

I recently played through Toby Fox's Deltarune Chapter 2 and it was pretty excellent. I've done quite a bit in Reindeer Story to make sure it set itself apart from the game that inspired it, but I also want to make sure I make a game that rivals it in terms of fun (not popularity since that would be impossible lol!).

Thanks for Reading!

- Azzie

Progress Report

Better Late than never! (Milestone 3)

Hey It’s Azzie

Two months since my last update, and I’ve gotten my first pass of Chapter 2 done. Took a bit longer than expected as I thought I’d be done by the 1st of July(so much for that, whoops!).



As always there’s a bunch of placeholder battles/graphics that I’ll fill in during my 2nd pass in 2022 but essentially the key scenes, maps, platforming challenges,etc. are done!


2021 - Development

Complete(First Pass)
Prologue(Tinsel Town, Mount Fairsteppe) –Finished (Todo: Some sprites, Town Houses)
Chapter 1(Snowzone) – Finished (To Do: Some sprites, encounters)
Chapter 2(Autumn Forest, Knight Games)- Finished (Todo: Bosses, Encounters, Some sprites, Town Houses)


To Do:
Chapter 3(Toy Town) - target 1st September
Chapter 4(Pleasure Palace)- target 1st October
Chapter 5(Magical Mists) - target 1st November
Chapter 6(Final) - target 1st December


Chapter 3(Toy Town) - target 1st September
• Maps (50%)
• Encounters(20%)
• Graphics(30%)
• Writing(70%)

The next chapter is Chapter 3 Toy Town, Loosely based on the Nutcracker. I’ve already made a start with the scene writing, maps and the major some of the character designs. (The two toy knights are inspired by the Onion Knights in FF3)



It’s also another story driven chapter! It will cover a conflict of Toys lead by the Jo the Nutcracker, the Mice lead by Mouserinks her son the Mouse King!


To keep it from taking quite as long as Chapter 2 I’ve tried to keep the number of scenes a bit lower in my writing draft. From what was about 30 in Chapter 2 to about 18 in Chapter 3. Some of the scenes will be even more action packed soo…might take me more than a month again!



Thanks for reading!

-Azzie.

Progress Report

Milestone 2 and the Skeleton

Hey, it's Azzie.

Another month another update on development on Reindeer Story.



I've gotten the 1st chapter done! My current set of milestones involves creating all the key scenes, maps, special mechanics and boss battle(s). It's kind of like building the skeleton of the game and story!



No Bones about it! When the skeleton's in place I'll start fleshing it out, adding extra scenes, secret areas, adding optional NPCs, replacing placeholder graphics, polishing wonky parts, etc.

So when I do place down treasure, enemies, and write the generic NPC dialogue the structure will be there. So I'll know the best way to distribute treasure, decide what sort of things the NPCs should tell you, at certain points of the game, what items should be what price,etc, etc.


2021 - Development

Complete
Prologue(Tinsel Town, Mount Fairsteppe) - Complete
Chapter 1(Snowzone) - Complete


To Do:
Chapter 2(Autumn Forest, Knight Games)- target 1st July
Chapter 3(Toy Town) - target 1st August
Chapter 4(Pleasure Palace)- target 1st September
Chapter 5(Magical Mists) - target 1st October
Chapter 6(Final) - target 1st November

Next on my list is Autumn Forest! I already got a start on the maps. It's not all just snow and snowmen! The story will take Lux and friends to variety of locations!



I think the orange/red colour of chapter 2 makes a good contrast to the blues and whites of the prologue and chapter 1.

The story will be quite different once the party gets to the Knight Games Tournament(though I haven't designed those maps yet so yeah...can't show that off yet).

Thanks for suffering through my skeleton metaphor!

- Azzie

Progress Report

Road Map!

Hey There,

Now that I've shifted from the prototype to the full version of Reindeer Story I've put together roadmap of the full scope of the game and when I expect to complete it.

2021 - Development

To get a sense of scope of the game, it will be made up of a prologue and 6 chapters.

Complete
  • Prologue(Tinsel Town, Mount Fairsteppe) - Complete

To Do:
  • Chapter 1(Snowzone) - target 1st June

  • Chapter 2(Autumn Forest, Knight Games)- target 1st July

  • Chapter 3(Toy Town) - target 1st August

  • Chapter 4(Pleasure Palace)- target 1st September

  • Chapter 5(Magical Mists) - target 1st October

  • Chapter 6(Final) - target 1st November


The game includes both RPG battles, dialogue/scenes platforming, vehicles, etc. I want each chapter to feel distinct so each one will be a wildly different setting.

So after Chapter 1 there's a very long break from snowy areas. Length-wise I'd put the main story at 5-6 hours long (aiming to make it short and sweet, especially because I'm balancing development with a full time job).

My aim is to be full game "content complete" by the end of the year. A rough version of the full game with all the key parts/scenes/battles/dungeons in place and connected up, but not necessarily all of the animations/graphics/sprites.

So far I've got the Prologue areas complete April and I've actually got quite a lot of the maps,puzzles,etc in snowzone done while designing the snowmobile vehicle mechanics!

2022 - Polishing and Release


I'm aiming to release Reindeer Story towards the end of the 2022. I'll come up with a solid plan as I clear 2021's milestones.

But mostly I want to be filling in the blanks so to speak! Polishing gameplay,etc in 2022 point. Depending on how long that takes I'll start making optional content, e.g. bonus bosses, minigames,etc. to give the game so more meat than just the story.

Things to Consider
  • Music(Will most likely commision more Tracks from mobiusdisco who did the demo soundtrack)

  • Promotional Art- I might draw a few myself, but have an artist I plan to commission for cover art, and promotional images.

  • Platforms- I'm considering selling this game, so I will be looking into steam but also the Nintendo Switch e-shop

  • Demo- I think I'll put out a new demo early 2022 or late 2021 for feedback. unlike the current prototype this will be based on the main story

  • Crowdfunding(?) - I might do a Kickstarter, I could raise money towards an even bigger soundtrack or potentially a better pixel artist to polish up the visuals.


I've also renamed it from Reindeer Story - The War Against Christmas to just Reindeer Story, mostly due to some story/setting changes.

Well that's all for my roadmap, wish me luck!

Thanks,

- Azzie

Announcement

Version 1.04

Hey!



Just released version 1.04 of Reindeer Story Prototype! A fair amount of refinements and gameplay adjustments have been made.

General
* Added Screen Transition animation before starting an encounter.
* A few adjustments have been made to the enemy AI system. From now on certain enemies and bosses can have certain patterns based on various criteria (turn number, HP) and some bosses may now use more than 1 attack in a turn.
* If a character has more than 3 status effects only your 1st three status effects will display.
* You can no longer adjust the camera, the Camera Button function has now been replaced by a Nose Beam which will function in the full game.
* Improved movement on the field. If moving diagonally against a wall you'll continue to move in the free direction.
* Tutorial and Controls are now hidden while Textboxes are displayed on screen.
* Changed the Sound Effect for Collecting Coins.
* In Shops added an icon to display which characters can use equipment.
* Changed font for Angry or Shouting text.

Balance Changes
* Reduced the Energy Cost of Lux's Small Heal to 2 and decreased the amount of additional energy cost for higher levels.

Enemy Changes
* Reduced the base power of the Wheelbot's Laser Attack from 3 to 2.
* Reduced base power of Spike Attack to 1.
* Reduced RatsEye's HP to 3.
* Changed HolliBerri's standard attack to Strike
* Added Spike Attack to Chestnut's moveset
* Certain enemy attacks are now capable of spawning at the bottom of the Battle Zone, previously some attacks could be evaded entirely by standing at the bottom of the screen.
* Changed the method of "randomly" enemy attacks, such as the WheelBots Laser or the Ratseye's Strike for a more even distribution across the Battle Zone.
* Adjusted how Humbugs Black Hole works. It now divides the gravitational pull up between Horizontal and Vertical Up/Down e.g. if you're at a 45 degree angle to the black hole the pull will be 50% Horizontally and Vertically.
This will allow the player to better properly evade the gravity pull in a diagonal direction.
* Enhanced Humbugs Boss AI, in certain circumstances his will now use Black Hole and a Fireball attack at the same time.

Bug Fixes
* Fixed Freeze bug where when the player or enemy attempts to apply a 4th status effect on a character/enemy with the game falls into an infinite loop of checking status effects.
* Fixed Crash bug in the item screen when highlighting the 2nd or 3rd party member with a healing item and cancelling when you have less than 2 or 3 rows of items no longer crashes the game.
* Adjusted textboxes not to cut off on the left/right side of the screen, textboxes also shouldn't end up too small for their text now.
* Fixed a bug where the jailed Angel in SweetStreet Park could be spoken to before rescue.

Thanks for Reading!

-Azzie

Progress Report

Features Sneak Peak!

Ello,

Just an update on Reindeer Story. Currently I've been brainstorming and developing interesting ways for Lux to interact with the game world for the full game:

Snowmobile Mechanic
https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/11637/screenshots/ReindeerStory_Snowmobile.GIF


This was pretty fun to make, since the screenshot I've added acceleration, breaking and reversing. Crashing sends you rebounding in the opposite direction and the snowmobile leaves a trail. The snowmobile switches the controls out to something like Mario Kart where the direction inputs adjust your angle!

Pushing Logs!
https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/11637/screenshots/ReindeerStory_LogPush.GIF


These are some GIANT logs which have holes in them. You can push them by rushing into them! These will be used in certain puzzles.

breaking pots!
https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/11637/screenshots/ReindeerStory_PotBreak.GIF


Charge with Lux's horns! Smash open the pots.

Lighting Fires!
https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/11637/screenshots/NoseBeam.GIF


Hold down a Button to charge, Release to fire! I'm also considering having this ability to light up dark areas like a flashlight!.

Those last two things make Lux play a bit like Spyro The Dragon if it took place in a 2D game.

In addition there will be another version of the demo/prototype. A bug in the item menu was found and a bug in the Battle System if a character has more than 3 status effects was discovered which can cause a crash or freeze. So I'll get something out in the coming days.

Thanks for reading,

-Azzie

Announcement

A New Version Awaits!

Hey,

Version 1.03 of Reindeer Story Prototype awaits!




Overhauled Platforming
* Fixed a major bug where the character's shadow rapidly "toggles" between two positions when attempting to land on certain platforms sideways or from above which sometimes caused the player to fail to land on these platforms, character will always land on the platform in these cases.
* Character should no longer able to "fall" onto a higher platform or fall back onto the same platform they jumped or fallen off.
* When falling off a platform the player won't repeatedly "land" and fall again, it should be one smooth movement now.
* When a player is falling from a raised platform from the left/right to another raised platform below the player will now reliably land onto the lower platform

Usability Improvements
* Improved the pause menu for smoother navigation.
* When you cancel of a menu such as SAVE or EQUIP and return to the main pause screen. That menu will be highlighted.
* The cursor will remember your previous selection when pressing cancel e.g. if you cancel while selecting a weapon to equip your
cursor will return to hovering over your currently equipped weapon.
* UI in battle will no longer obscure enemy attacks.

Balance Changes
* Candy now restores 6 Energy.

Misc
* Textboxes now adapt to the length of text used in them.
* There are now textboxes with different sounds,visuals and fonts.
* Some battle UI has been redesigned.
* Battle UI for selecting attacks, enemy HP and the amount of time left during the enemy phase.
* A few scenes have been changed to include a few extra effects.

Bugfixes
* The Boss Battle Theme no longer plays against standard foes after fighting the 1st boss.
* Floating Logs in Cringlewood Creek will no longer take the player out of bounds.
* Item description no longer disappears after selecting a usable item.
* Using a Beam attack on a flying enemy now misses.
* Stray enemy projectiles no longer damage the player when time runs out during the enemy phase.
* No longer can speak to NPCs when the pause menu is open.
* You can no longer pause in the middle of dialogue.
* Pausing in the middle of a transition between areas no longer removes control from the player when they appear in the new area.

I hope you enjoy the new version, I think this might be the last version of the Prototype unless I've overlooked something broken.

Thanks for reading

-Azzie.

Progress Report

Polish, Polish, Polish!

Hey there!

Still working hard on Reindeer Story's prototype. I don't want to get bogged down on perfection, but I'm aiming for the mechanics/features to a certain degree of polish before I start cranking out the main game.

A lot of this is stuff you can't see:
  • Improving Platforming
  • Improving Menu Surfing
  • Storing Data(e.g. items,etc.) in excel documents to import (easy to edit, making translations easy)


However there's some parts I can show off! Different styles of textboxes to fit character moods:



I'm looking designing more exciting Battle UI!



I'll put out a newer version of the Prototype in the near future, this may be the last prototype!

I'll continue to blog about the current mechanics, but also what I've got planned for the future. I'll try to be a bit more consistent/frequent :)

Thanks!

-Azzie

Announcement

Battle Revamps and more!

Hey Hey!

I've released version 1.02 of Reindeer Story's Prototype. Hurrah! There's a lot of changes this time thanks to user feedback!

Battle Mechanic Changes
I was told the battle system was overwhelming! so I've consolidated skills down into two types, Melee, and Special. Skills are selected by moving the glow between the options.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/11637/screenshots/Battle_System_Simplified.png


Bosses kind of stayed at similar difficulty throughout a fight. So to make it more exciting some Bosses will grow more powerful under circumstances(Number of turns, HP depleted,Other foes defeated) to make the Boss battles feel more intense as they progress.

Along with this I think it's now more important for you to know how much progress you're making. A Heart Shaped marker will indicate an enemy's remaining HP!

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/11637/screenshots/Battle_HP_Marker.png



Tutorials
I know people don't like drawn out tutorials. So these are just control hints that don't interrupt gameplay. These will appear only during the start of the game:

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/11637/screenshots/Tutorial_Jump.png


Also during the 1st three battles. You likely have figured out how to move about... But It's probably best to highlight that you can attack during the enemies turn!

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/11637/screenshots/Battle_Tutorial.png


(You might notice the Battle Zone,the rectangular grid you move in during the enemies attack is a bit smaller. It's now made of 16x16 squares in terms of enemy attack)

There's other more general changes, for usability like prompts on the start screen. Balance changes, and dialogue adjustments. But give the game a shot and see!

-Azzie
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