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Progress Report

Back From The... Not... Quite... Dead?

So, I found a backup today. And it was fairly close to the point where I lost data. Which is awesome - so, I popped production back open and started to poke around to continue to work on this when...

I looked at the scripting. Oh god, oh god, the scripting. It's a mess. I don't know what I was doing in a lot of places because, even with commenting, it doesn't make sense (I appear to be reusing RMXP's built in variables... several places.... that don't mesh well with multiple uses).

So! First step!

The entire scripting section is going to be rewritten where it needs to be with everything I've learned since then (and before, but didn't apply, because damn that's some ugly code). This is the first and most important thing I need to do. This'll see the combat engine sort of finished (it'll work, it just won't support the type of battlers I wanted to use yet) and hopefully the war and duel systems finished (probably with some heavy inspirations from similar scripts elsewhere).

Once that's done, the second step will be to go through everything I have so far and make it playable up until at least as far as the LSR demo of yesteryear. At that point, I'll be doing a demo of sorts - it won't be as pretty as I'd want, but it'll be playable none the less.

I'd like to get some public progress out on this so I can eventually do the other two games. Only time will tell.


I'm not dead yet!

No, really, I'm not.

And neither is this project. It's just had to be massively scaled back because I was part of a team picked out to create an independent game, and I've been swamped with work for it. We've just finished the engine, having written it entirely from scratch, reiterated on it three or four times (depending on how you count), and finally decided the version we have written out works. Now onto the real fun of programming in events and finding art assets. We're also working on a legal level to get permission from a rather large company to allow us to use their IP and media for the game - I'm not at liberty to discuss what company or what IP, but from what I hear, it's going to be a welcome sight if we're permitted to do this.

Progress Report

Going Back and Going Forward

So, I had to take a step back from this project briefly because I was literally overwhelmed by the amount of programming in my life - three new assignments at work, one of which I was the only developer on due to being the only one present with experience in the framework we were using for it, and I really didn't want to work on anything that had actual code when I came home. So, I started working on a side project (which I'll be posting some information about as soon as I'm finished the introduction) to give me a bit of a breather while still doing game development.

Coming back to LSX, I realized there's quite a few major problems in the opening segment - so as I continue to build new areas (as I type this, I'm in the process of building the framework for the start of Chapter 2 - which begins at Irassia Prison and continues to the events that occur just after the downfall of Lodoria), I'm also going to be going back and completing redoing most of the scenario from scratch - rewriting dialogues, updating cutscenes to run better, and, most importantly, to get rid of a number of annoying glitches I saw pop up while testing out the changes I made to the save/load (which now keeps track of, and displays, the chapter you're in and the location you're saved at).

I'm also beginning to do some work on the visual aspects of the game, tinkering with putting together a new sprite, and a new character image, for Durane - with this new change, Durane will be losing his armored appearance at the end of Chapter 1 (similar to Kima switching sprites in LS3 at one point) in favour of something a little less militaristic. Additionally, if only because I get the writing itch occasionally, I'm going to be writing up some fiction - I'm still working out the details on this portion.

More coming SoonTM.

Game Design

The Fifth Slot, Redux - Make that the Seventh Slot

So, with the change to a much larger cast in Legion Saga, I've expanded the number of available characters to select for your Support Character (the former 'Fifth Slot') from 4 to 7. I also have more balance done with the support abilities and am now ready to reveal all 7 of the support abilities (if not the characters themselves).

As revealed previously, Pavan provides the support ability Rally, which gives a 5% chance to bring back one of your characters that have been reduced to 0 HP with 10% of their maximum hit points. He is automatically recruited during the course of the game and, if you're not going out of your way to find characters, will most likely be the only support character you come across.

The next potential character you might find is the nurse, Dawn. If you bring her the medical supplies she asks for, she'll provide you with the Cleansing support ability. At the end of each round of combat, Dawn will automatically remove all status effects from your characters (the exact balancing on this I'm still working out - perhaps there should only be a chance of this?).

Next, one of the original characters in the game, Shifter, has had his recruitment method altered and turned into a support character. While in your party, he'll provide the Camouflage ability, which will reduce the amount of encounters you run across.

Another of the original characters in the game, Leo, has had his recruitment method altered as well and will now provide services above and beyond his bank services - while brought along as a support character, he'll provide the With Interest! support ability, earning you extra Canu from battles.

Next available will be the Chef character, who will provide the Cook support ability, which will heal your characters for a small amount of health each turn, effectively giving you a permanent regeneration ability.

By completing a completely optional sidequest late in the game, you'll find yet another support character that will provide the Training Day support ability - at the end of combats with him in your support slot, you'll receive additional experience points, allowing you to level up faster.

And last, but certainly far from least, is the dangerous criminal Deepe. Hailing from the far off country of Harbrynd, enslaved by his own people, he escaped, only to be captured in Veramonde by his jailors. On their return, a storm drives their ship ashore and Deepe sees his chance, attempting to kill his captors and flee. Should you interfere, and I won't say exactly which version of interference will net you a recruitment, you'll find Deepe able to provide the Beacon support ability. If you're willing to bring this dangerous criminal along with you, you'll find yourself fighting off swarms of enemies as your encounter rate will increase.

So - who will you bring along with you?


All In: What It Means for LSX

Well, after a discussion with a couple members of the community, there was one conclusion reached: go big or go home. Without hiding it in the least, Legion Saga has always been a Suikoden clone, deny it as you might. But it's only ever been halfway there - it's had plenty of characters, but not quite enough. It's had hints of the systems, but never quite the systems.

Well, much of that is about to change.

Party sizes in Legion Saga X will be six characters - as you can see in the battle screen I recently updated:


This is on top of the previously discussed Fifth Slot (which, under the expanded party, will technically be the Seventh Slot). But this also means some changes to the rest of the game to accommodate the "go big or go home" mentality. The number of Legionnaires in the game has increased to 70; 7 of these will be support characters (up from 4), and 30 of these will be selectable for your party (up from 22).

It's not much of an update but... this was one I thought worth sharing.

Game Design

Orbcraft: Which Way Did It Go?

One of the standards of the Legion Saga games is the Orbcraft system. Originally introduced in Legion Saga II, Orbcraft replaced the basic spell casting system of RPG Maker, and in Legion Saga, with a system that loosely emulated Suikoden's Rune system - by equipping characters with magical orbs, they could learn new spells. The orbs were upgradable by going to an Orbcraft shop and going through a somewhat tedious set of upgrade menus, with the upgraded orbs providing new and better spells. There were two types of Orbs: White Orbs and Black Orbs. For the most part, White Orbs were used to cast spells that helped your party, particularly healing, while Black Orbs were used for offensive magic. Some characters could equip no orbs, some could equip only White, some only Black, and, in very rare cases, some could equip both.

In Legion Saga III, the system was altered slightly. Characters could now only equip one magical orb, with the second orb slot being reserved for a new type of 'influential orb' that had special effects. Characters would learn spells at the same rate, regardless of who they were or what orbs they possessed, and at level 32, they would unlock all the spells in the game, so long as they had an orb equipped.

In Legion Saga R, the system was, once again, changed. Orbs were divided once more into two types, Attack and Defense, and each orb was to come in both flavours - Attack orbs were to be equipped to your weapon and would raise attack, while Defense orbs were to be attached to your armor and raise defense. Spells were learned based on the character's Magic trait - as a character's Magic trait rose, they were learn new spells.

So, that left me with a question - what direction should Orbcraft go in Legion Saga X? Legion Saga R brought the idea of orbs to the Midlands several years before the events of Legion Saga II, which insinuates that the idea originated recently and in the nations discovered there, changing canon entirely. I chose to stuck with this change - Orbcraft does, in fact, exist long before the events of Legion Saga II. I've stuck with the canon 'creation' story that the orbs originated when Geradoma's original master orb was shattered.

As for the system, I've chosen to go with a mixture of Legion Saga II and Legion Saga R. There exist on every character two Orb slots - one for White Orbs, and one for Black Orbs (there are some Orbs which fit into the Accessory slot, but I'll talk about them another time). Some characters can equip no orbs, some can equip only White, some only Black, and some both types. New spells are learned as the character's Magic trait increases and, thanks to some tinkering with the systems, I can tailor each individual spell's minimum Magic trait requirement. Many spell names have been borrowed from across the games, with a vast majority lifted from Legion Saga III.

All first level spells are available as long as you have, and can equip, the orb. For an example, let's look at the Burning Orb, which Durane begins the game with (he also comes equipped with a Tranquil Orb for healing). As he can immediately equip it, he learns the spell Burning Rush, the simplest fire spell. At Magic 80, which, without assistance, Durane will reach at level 11, he'll learn the next level of spell, Dragon Breath, a multi-target version of Burning Rush. As he continues to level, at level 25 he'll top Magic 160 and learn the next spell, Hellfire. Finally, when he reaches level 39 and tops Magic 240, Durane will learn the ultimate fire spell, Flames of Judgement.

While these levels hold true for Durane, characters with higher Magic traits will learn these spells sooner, as they'll reach the required trait far sooner. Some characters may never even reach a high enough trait to get more than the third, or in some cases second, level spells - a new Legionnaire being introduced, the young Meluvetian commander Logan, would find it impossible to learn Dragon Breath until level 22, when he finally reaches Magic 80. Luckily for him, however, he has another type of Orb up his sleeve...

But I'll save that for another time.

Game Design

The Fifth Slot

So, as I'm working feverishly on getting the first chapter of the game done, I had an idea to discuss some of the changes and updates I'm making to provide some additional mechanics and features throughout the game. Only that which is near feature-complete will be discussed here, so pretty much everything I discuss here is either final or near-final (and those near-final features are mostly just a matter of balancing numbers).

This particular feature will make a difference in some of the more closely tuned battles or if you are, perhaps, a little under leveled for the section of the story you're about to embark upon - and some of the battles might be a little rough if you're underleveled, but perhaps it's best to discuss balance and levels at a later time. For now, let us begin with the introduction of a new Legionnaire.

This is Pavan Helmsley, a Garlasin national.

Pavan, while appearing rather heavily armoured, is not a combat character. He may, at times, find himself adventuring with Ridman, however. Pavan is Ridman's personal standard bearer, left behind in Seimu when the party was ambushed by Xaertrix. It's thanks to his quick thinking that the Rebellion learns of Ridman's capture and eventually head for Irassia Prison. When he finally finds himself reunited with the person he believes to be his beloved commander, he fills a new type of character role: Support.

Support characters fill a role in that they assist you in combat but don't directly fight. Pavan, as an example, has a small chance to, at the end of each round, rally a fallen party member and restore them to fighting form with a bit of health. Another support character will heal your characters for a small amount each turn - like a permanent regenerate on the entire party. Most support characters will be optional characters, not required to recruit in the main storyline - of the four available in the game, only Pavan is recruited during the course of the main story. He hopes you'll make good use of him in your battles.

These characters won't take up a slot in your party - you'll still be able to select four characters as normal. Instead, they will fill a new support character slot which will allow you to bring exactly one of these individuals along to assist you. Each, as I mentioned above, will be helpful in their own circumstance and each provide a unique ability to make your life just a little easier. You never know when an extra little bit of health or your ally popping back up will be the difference between a total party kill and victory.

As always, questions and comments are more than welcome and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
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