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Announcing: card-based magic CBS!

I'm happy to announce we've completed all of phase 2 of development and we're moving on to phase 3! This means all of our mapping, dialogue, and concept work is complete. We have ahead of us a lot of resource work and we need to string some areas together still, but we should definitely be able to complete Zephyr Skies by the deadline. Progress has been excellent and only one or two members have been having commitment problems. The zones lists is now complete, and we have enough manpower to allow on pair of developers to continue working on a few new areas while the rest of us move on to phase 3 proper.

The issue of the battle system has finally been decided. We'll have the final details out on a game page, but for now, I can at least present the concept: card-based magic. Magic users can draw a card or two from their deck as an action, and then cast using a card as an action. After being cast, a card is put in the discard/uncharged pile. Some powerful cards might require that you discard other cards as part of their cost. Deck sizing is just as important as MP. Don't want to risk the chances of drawing cards? Use your melee attack! Another advantage of card-based magic: it makes magic more costly in a tactical sense, yes it has high DPS, but you need to spend time moving to the back, then you need to draw cards until you find it. Of course, this all means that magic will be very powerful in the world of Zephyr Skies. Also, keep an eye out around the map for collectible cards... You'll have to find most spells if you want to use them.

Programming for the system is mostly complete. There's a standard turn-based system behind the magic card concept so as to fit within the month long scope, but currently, another programmer (GS) and I have worked out the battle flow, menus, and everything else associated with a CBS except the cards. As the art and design teams progress we should have a better idea of which cards are available. When the list is finalized, they'll be programmed in and added to the game page, so stay tuned.

We're also happy to announce a weather system, spearheaded and mostly implemented by bob_esc. With this system, various semi-random weather conditions occur both on the overworld and in battle. These conditions all have minor effects on things like elemental strength, accuracy, etc, but also special hidden effects. For instance, rivers might flood during heavy rain weathers, and as part of a plot event, ports close during heavy weather. Some weather conditions also have hidden battle effects, but you'll have to discover these for yourself.... When you find one, you won't miss it.

So that's all for now. Back soon with the latest developments, and best of luck to our competitors... they'll need it.