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New Demo Up Now

I've uploaded the updated version of the Relas: Chaos of the Realms demo with bug fixes, a new introductory sequence, new quests, and rebalanced gameplay. While it isn't essential that you download the new version if you've played the game previously, there is a new dungeon to explore and a lot of bug fixes have been made. In the new introduction to the game, I've fleshed out the relationships between the player character, Lydia, and Gundy which should shed some light on areas that some had complained were unclear. There are a few quests in the game which are as of now unfinished that will be completed in the next version.

Progress Report

Story Drafting, Design Documents and More

Hello everyone,
I know it's been some time since I've updated anything on the game (other than the recent title change - more on that later), so I decided I'd write up a quick blog to let you know where I'm at with things.

I haven't done much work on the game itself in over a month because I've been pretty busy, but I have been writing the story for the game and jotting down various ideas that I've had and ways that I can expand and enrich the lore of the universe. The new title of the game, Relas: Chaos of the Realms is directly related to the story I'm writing. I won't get too into details, but expect much better writing and pacing than the original game. Although I'm aware that the basic premise for the story (demon invasion!) is quite generic, there are a number of things that I'd like to do with it that I think will be appreciated by a lot of people. Moral themes will tie in heavily to the main plot, and Xavier, the main "villain" of sorts, will be much less mustache-twirling than in the original game. He has very clear motivations for what he is doing this time around, and you as the player might even be able to see where he's coming from.

The story of the game will be mostly nonlinear, as I'm going to reuse that age old trope of "go to these five different places across the continent in any order to win!". Is it generic? A little bit, sure. But in my opinion, plots that provide clear objectives from the outset and that allow for tons of player creativity and freedom are the best kind there is. The first few hours of the game will probably be restricted to Deepmount County, as you saw in the demo, but after that the entire world will open up to you and you'll be able to explore it at your leisure. If you're a powergamer, there's a very real possibility that you could "beat" the game in a couple of hours.

That's about all I'm going to go into for now. I am getting back to working on the actual game again, and you can probably expect a new, significantly expanded demo at the end of the month.


The Chronicles of Engea: VX Ace Demo Out Now!

After a week of feverishly slaving away on the game, I've finally gotten it to the point where a playable and fairly polished prototype is ready for public consumption.

The demo should contain anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes of gameplay, or perhaps a bit more if you're a completionist. The main quest of the game isn't really present at this point, but a lot of optional content has already been implemented. My main concern with the game is building the world from the ground up and then adding the main story later on, so the game doesn't ever feel rushed or threadbare, as the original RM2K version sometimes did. If you're interested in the game and want to see whether it's for you or not, feel free to download the demo.


The Chronicles of Engea - VX Ace Remake

As the title of the blog says, I am currently working on remaking The Chronicles of Engea in RPG Maker VX Ace. This is not going to be as massive of an undertaking as it would seem, because scripts can cover a lot of the mechanics that I would have to implement manually in RPG Maker 2000. I'm also not just going to be doing a straight-up remake; there will be substantial changes to the main story, quests, and the design of the gameworld. Hopefully, the end result will be a much better game. Unlike the original game, I now have a clear vision of what I have planned for the game, so it's unlikely that I'll have to go back and redo past work on this game, as I had to do many times with the RPG Maker 2000 version of TCOE.

The decision behind this was an easy one. I saw that I was putting a ton of work into the game with few results, and I wasn't satisfied with that I was able to do within the engine. So, I bought VX Ace and the High Fantasy Resource Pack, and with the aid of a few scripts, I'm now much closer to what my intended vision for the game would be.

Below I'm going to share a few screenshots; this is what I have done so far just after a few hours of work. Since I have the next week off for Christmas break, I'll be able to make some significant progress.


Update - Speechcraft and a Journal!

I've just updated The Chronicles of Engea to version 0.5. Included in the update are speechcraft mechanics, and, at long last, a journal. I wanted to have speech checks and a journal from the beginning, but it was something that I never got around to including. Now that I've finally gotten them in there, we're one step closer to moving forward with the main plot of the game, and adding new areas and quests. Below, I'll describe how the speechcraft system in the game works:

Every time a speech check is performed, a random number between 1 and 100 is generated. If the number is above a certain threshold (the "set" difficulty), you will succeed the check. For every 2 successful speech checks you make, you gain an additional 10% to correctly performing a speech check. You can gain up to 5 ranks of this, meaning you can improve on the original chance to succeed of any speech check by a maximum of 50%.

It's probable that I'll have to adjust this as I move forward with the game, but for now the system does what I want it to do while remaining relatively simple. It's important to note that in the current version of the game, it's impossible to max out your speechcraft abilities because there are only a handful of occasions where a check is performed. That's because previously, I purposefully designed quests to not warrant speech checks, as I had no idea how I would implement the system. Now that I've implemented it, you can expect a lot of quests involving speechcraft in the future.

The other major feature of this update is the journal. I think I've done a pretty good job with it, as it isn't too much of an unorganized mess and it should help you out a lot with remembering what you were up to in the game without giving away too much of what you're supposed to do. Basically, almost everything you do in the game will get put into one of three categories; main objectives, side quests, and rumors/notes. This is what it looks like:

Unless you go around accepting every quest and not doing any of them, the journal should be fairly organized. Every quest is removed from the journal once completed or failed; rumors stay in the journal permanently. This may prove to be problematic later on, but I haven't implemented a ton of rumors into the game yet, so it should be fine for now.

That's version 0.5 of the Chronicles of Engea in a nutshell. If you were curious about the game and haven't checked it out yet, now would be a good time to do so.

Game Design

TCOE: Now with better balance and 100% more choice & consequence

Hey all,

I've been hard at work on The Chronicles of Engea over the past week, busy fixing a lot of bugs, balance issues, and other things that made it into the last version but shouldn't have.


One serious issue with the "Fast Learner" character background was that any special attribute buffs/debuffs you could receive didn't apply if you chose the background, and you couldn't become a werewolf, either, along with a ton of other issues. If anyone chose "Fast Learner" and had these issues, I apologize. I can't believe it took me this long to notice the problem (it was very, very obvious).

From my playtesting I also discovered that the "Wealthy Orphan" background was well... kind of useless. The disadvantages to the background far outweighed the one advantage (a bonus of 1000 gold, which, let's face it, isn't very much.) To offset that, I changed the amount of gold you gain at the start from 1000 to 3000. From my playing experience, it makes the background a hell of a lot more useful.

Along with those changes, I've also corrected issues with price and item stat correlation; puzzling stuff like a Leather Helmet costing nearly twice as much as Leather Armor and providing less defense. This is mostly stuff left over from the default database that I didn't get around to correcting until now. Prices and item stats should be a lot more sensible in the upcoming version.

I've also added scrolls into the game. Most of the scrolls available are the very powerful spells that can only be learned at later levels (if at all). They cost a decent amount, but they're more useful than spells in that any party member can use them. I also added your basic utility spells Levitation and Teleport as scrolls; they cost about 1/5 of the regular spell tome and they're more convenient as you can use them even if your spellcaster is knocked out.

Choice & Consequence

As you know, the main description for this game is "An original game with a focus of choice & consequence." I'll be the first to admit that I haven't totally lived up to that promise. There are very few examples of C&C in the last version of the game, and it's something that I've hopefully corrected in the upcoming version.

From simple things like someone later finding out you lied to them, to larger consequences like being exiled from a city for your crimes, I've added quite a few examples of C&C into the upcoming version of The Chronicles of Engea thanks to the wonderful capabilities of common events and the wait function. Most of these consequences will take place after a relatively short amount of game time; others take a bit longer depending on the situation. You can see a few minor examples of C&C in the screenshots I addded today.

Version 0.4b should be up shortly. I can't say that this is another huge update like version 0.3 was; it doesn't add any new maps or expand on the main plot. It does fix a ton of issues that I left on the previous version, though. I promise that the update after this one is going to expand on the main plot and add a ton more things for you to do. In the meantime, though, it's important that I continue to rebalance the game, fix bugs, and add more examples of C&C.


TCOE - v0.4 is up

Version 0.4 of The Chronicles of Engea is now up. It includes a complete mapping overhaul and very nice new introduction courtesy of giaks! New screenshots will be up shortly.


Attention: Calling all mappers!

Hello everyone!

Recently, I've made it my goal to redo almost every interior map in The Chronicles of Engea to improve them and make them more realistic in their presentation. I don't have very good mapping skills, though, and I'd much appreciate it if somebody who has a knack for that sort of thing could help me out! Of course, anyone who wants to help me with this gets their name on the developers list, and if you happened to have more ideas/suggestions for the game we could possibly implement them. Anyway, if anyone wants to help me out with this mapping thing, just give me a shout. Thanks!

Mapper found! - Hats off to giaks for all the work he's been doing on the maps.


New version out now

Last night I updated the v0.3 download file to include some changes I made to the game based on reviewer feedback; this includes expanded introductory dialogue for Gundy and Lyddia as well as new dialogue for Chancellor Salvius, some mapping changes to Deepmount and Raudale, several bug fixes and the rebalancing of a few enemies. Nothing major, but it's a stopgap update between now and the next really substantial one.

Game Design

Forthcoming: Character Backgrounds, Party Management

Hello readers!
I'm currently in the midst of getting a new demo out for The Chronicles of Engea, and I thought I'd make a blog post on some of the changes I'll be implementing.

At the beginning of the game, you can now choose a character background. There are currently nine different character backgrounds to choose from which can give Joel some unique strengths and weaknesses that will follow you throughout the game. Here's a screenshot of some of the character backgrounds:

I will admit, these are almost directly inspired from Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura's character backgrounds, but the bonuses are (obviously) tweaked to fit for the RM2K system. I've set up each background so that you receive bonuses to certain stats, and decreases to others. Each character background should be balanced in terms of strengths and weaknesses, as all the stat increases and decreases balance each other out. There are also some more unique backgrounds, such as one that increases your leveling speed significantly, and another that allows you to start out with an extra 1000 gold.

Party Management

Once you get into Chapter Two of the game, you'll be given total control over who is in your party at any given time. I'm going to be introducing several new companions who can join your party, and different combinations of party members will yield different conversations at any given time. I might run into some technical difficulties with this, though, so there are probably going to be sections where you are required to have a certain party member with you (similar to Neverwinter Nights 2). Here's an early screenshot at what party management might be like:

More info to come on the next update soon. Since I'm participating in NaGaDeMo, the next demo will definitely be out within about two weeks. Stay tuned!
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