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Progress Report

Early Draft of the Biggest City in the Game...

So, I've recently been inspired to work on this game again and I wanted to show off the maps (four of them combined) that I'm working on for what will be the biggest civilized location in the game, Regindo (HUGE screenshot):

A lot of it is subject to change (e.g. further expansion of land to enclose the docks, updated tiles), but I'm liking the results thus far. It will be a coastal city with three separate districts and a lot of walking involved. This is an ambitious effort, but it will pay off once everything is stable. It's going to remain a central hub throughout the game, so expect new things happening there.


Bug Fixes for Chapter I

As there have been a few bugs reported since reuploading the demo, I present to you a patch to resolve these issues. Inform me if there are still any bugs I must've missed. Cheers.

Download it here.


Finding It Within Yourself to Keep On Gam Making

The last couple of years taught me a lot of things about setting your priorities. You have to commit yourself to your craft and never let anyone or anything get you feeling down for it. That's a mistake I've made time and time again, having originally started this project back in 2005 as just another Final Fantasy-wannabe game, reworked it into what it is today in 2009. Sometimes, due to the limitations of the software and/or being unable to figure out a satisfying concept to implement, I'd lose the drive to keep doing what I've been doing this whole time and take frequent breaks from it.

Now that I have the demo uploaded again (lots of changes since the previous demo from 2013), I'm finding the same spark that ignited the project's creation all over again. Plot has always been my biggest obstacle in any project I've worked on, so it's always a plus to have quality writers who can guide you along the way as to what would become a modern classic. I generally handle mapping and database stuff quite well, but it can get tiresome testing the same cutscenes over and over again to make sure the one specific bug is squashed for good and hasn't multiplied with your latest change. Call me a perfectionist, but I'd be awfully embarrassed to put out a rushed, unstable game, even though it's also been many years without much getting done in my case, and I acknowledge that on my part.

I guess I just wanted to let it out for once, now that I'm putting in a serious effort into getting Chapter II done. I want to make a game that tells an epic tale, does not hold your hand in dungeons or battles, and (most important of all) can and will be replayed for years to come. Feature additions and other things can always come later, as the main focus for me is to get the maps finished for good.


Seeking Testers (Again)!

Hello, everyone! Now that I've finally reuploaded the demo and can leave the procrastination behind for good, I'm looking for a few testers to help me out with patching the bugs for Chapter II (the upcoming release).

I have most of the maps and cutscenes done, so it won't be long until I start distributing copies to the development team (that being my writer and my composer).

Also, I'd love to read another review of my game, good or bad (I really need the healthy criticism). If you remember, earlier builds were a bit inconsistent and had their other issues, but this one is now completely stable and has a properly calibrated algorithm system in place. Battles will actually require you to THINK, rather than just spamming attacks. I will see to it that bosses will be a pimple on the ass. ;)


Demo Finally Available Again

Hello, everyone! After having some personal things going on in the last three months, I've finally managed to release a stable build of the game's demo. Keep in mind that it's only Chapter I for now, as I'm still finishing up on Chapter II. My apologies for the delays over the years, but now I can finally say that I'm happy with this staying up until the next version is ready. Thank you for your patience, which I greatly appreciated and still do!

You can download the demo here.

On this demo, a lot of things have changed since its last availability (in 2013, for crying out loud). I've applied some algorithmic changes and made enemies (especially bosses) more challenging than just attacking over and over again. As well, Techs will no longer be learned "naturally" through leveling up (as that was too Final Fantasy IV-ish), but through a system my writer and I are working out by means of scrolls that you either find in treasure chests or obtain through training (all depends on the character and will have its own character development).

I hope those of you who like a good challenge will appreciate this. Please let me know all feedback, good and bad. Thank you!


Chapter I to Be Uploaded Next Week

Just a quick announcement:

While I continue to work on the rest of Chapter II, I'm going to be uploading the entirety of Chapter I by next week. As it has been several years, expect a few significant changes since then in terms of features and visuals. A lot of cutscenes have been updated and are more presentable, too.

I also make this announcement while acknowledging that EasyRPG Player is finally stable enough to interpret the default battle system. As it's no lie that the engine itself is old and isn't easily compatible with modern systems, I can't stress enough the importance of EasyRPG Player.

This does come at a disadvantage, however, as DynRPG functionality will simply not work. The only plugins I'd enabled were the ones for faster ATB gauges and a clock function within the menu screen, but those were only for extra effects.

Hope everyone will give this game a shot (again) once I upload the latest build of the demo (still only one chapter until I finish the next one, which is getting there).


Signs of Life?

Hello, everyone! Been a long time (literally years) since anything significant was reported on here about the game. A lot of things happened between 2013 and now that really stunted the game's progress. I know most have already moved on fully convinced it's never going to happen, but I still find myself opening up the program. I must admit I lost motivation due to offline events taking the focus away from game development. So, why I am I even bothering writing this blog, you might ask? It's because I still have the desire to keep things going, even though I can't change the past.

Right now, I'm looking at some early drafts of Regindo's maps. It's going to be a huge, Southern European-style city that demands an entirely new tileset than the one I use for all the other cities and villages. Once I get these maps done, a few cutscenes and NPC dialogues will follow, and then I can finally get a new beta release.

For those who still care, please accept my sincerest apologies for making it seem like I "bailed" on everyone. It's a tough situation when life gets in the way and diverts any attention from one of your most cherished hobbies. I'm sure we've all been there before with our projects, and it will happen again down the road. There's not much we can do about it, other than just make the best of the moments spent working on these games.

So, to recap, I am STILL interested in this game, even though I've struggled for years to really put effort into a game I started way back in 2005 as a simple Final Fantasy fan game. I'd just like to get some words of encouragement and other feedback (even the bad) from fellow RMNers. Let me know what you guys think, please.

I also still have contact with my writer and my composer, so please give us a bit of time to get the ball rolling again. Something I've learned about life is that there's always tomorrow to change things around, so even if it's been one year or ten years, as long as people can find that spark again in their game making ventures, that's all that really matters.

Thanks for reading! I'll try to do my best from here on out. I've really learned a lot.

Game Design

Introduction and Writing Blog

Hey everyone, this is Runic Cipher's writer checking in. I came onboard with this project a few months ago, so I'm proud that we managed to put together the first Chapter in such a short amount of time. Of course, there was a significant amount already done when I joined, but I'm happy to breathe new life into a project with so much potential.

Any plot/concept/dialogue related questions can be directed to me. A few general things:

1. Each release will encompass a chapter of the full game. We will do our best to release each chapter in a timely fashion, but at the end of the day they'll be done when they're done. I am a fairly fast writer (I already have a final draft of the plot for Chapter 2 and am now working on translating that into in-game dialogue and cutscenes) but I want to make sure the final product is flawless, and conveys the story as best as possible. I am currently anticipating a total of 8 chapters, each one being roughly 2-4 hours of play time depending on how you choose to go about it. I am not limiting myself to 8 chapters however. If I feel we have more story to tell or that we've finished everything in less, then it will be released as such.

2. I am attempting to break certain JRPG cliches with my writing style. What I am going for is a more gritty and realistic story. The typical "good vs. evil," "hero vs. villain," "light vs. dark" traditions don't really do it for me anymore. Instead, you will be presented with a story of global war and devious politics featuring morally gray protagonists and antagonists. Some of my influences include George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire," Steven Erikson's "Malazan: Book of the Fallen," and Joe Abercrombie's "First Law" series, as well as real medieval European and Roman history, especially studies of warfare and politics. Like anyone working with a traditional JRPG medium, I'll claim some affinity for Final Fantasy (and there will be some obvious nods in that direction), but we're setting out to accomplish something different here.

3. I'll drop in every once in awhile to comment on writing progress, and maybe even drop a hint or two as to what's coming. No, I won't spoil anything outright, you'll just have to be patient and wait for the next chapter!

That's about it for now. I hope everyone enjoys the first chapter, which is simply a taste of what's to come. If you're the type of player to meticulously try and figure out the plot, make sure to pay close attention because I do drop lots of foreshadowing into many parts, and use many random town NPCs to reveal some pretty relevant information. As I stated earlier, writing is coming along smoothly for the next section, so enjoy Chapter 1: Prelude to Ruin and look out for Chapter 2: The Art of War.
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