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Lions in sheep's clothing or vice-versa?

The current demo is a mite too short, but that could be that I tried to set a deadline and at least release something playable. At the moment, with some writing advice from Red_Nova, I'm extending at least three current scenes in the game and fleshing out important plot points that may have seemed like throwaway lines.

This is my first attempt at political intrigue, and I'm finding myself to be enjoying it far more than writing a generic plotline ( since I always was a bit of a history nerd in high school ). It makes for more interesting scenarios, 'villians', plot points etc. etc. and many of the antagonists have some personal connection with Tristian herself.

Which makes the eventual boss fights so much more climatic and exciting. There's also no real good vs. evil in this game, more like grey-vs-grey morality rather than the 'my country, right or wrong' ideals that have been seen so many times before. I'm blurring the lines so much at some instances that it is hard to say whether your new allies are with you or want to stick a knife in your back when you least expect it.

Even Tristian herself is a grey character, as is nearly every other recruitable party member with the exception of Ianna, who remains Lawful Good from the beginning of the game until its end.

I don't think he even needs a weapon. All he needs to do is headbutt his foe and he'll gore them to death. Ahem, that's Perc, Tristy's younger brother.

Because sedition among the ranks can decimate or pull apart an army faster than the mightiest of spells...

Gameplay wise, I'm scrapping the PTB-system. I feel it's a bit buggy and easily borked, whereas it's a lot harder to keep spamming the same attacks over and over with a traditional turn-based system, though I can change things up a bit. Maybe make the usual encounters turn-based and one-on-one duels either PTB or ATB, since BEM allows me to do that with a mere variable. There's also the lesser-known CTB/Charge Turn Battle which works off skill speed/ally speed and 'clockticks'.

I'll also lower the JP needed for most skills and passive abilities ( touch-based encounters don't allow for much grinding, unless the player likes fighting the same foe over and over again ) and sprayed some bugs ( like when Blessing was used, it closed up the entire main menu, or Tristian's walk speed, or silent guards >< ).

I'm hoping for a reviewable hour-long game by July sometime, so watch this space.


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I didn't remembered, or maybe never noticed, that this game has tall characters. Now my love for this game has increased ♥.
Yes, I've been using the tall sprites using my own base for a while now. It's really versatile for a variety of poses too.

As for the title of this blog, let's just say that nothing in this game is what it seems.
Well, for what it's worth, I believe that, if pulled right, a ctb is the best combat system possible (It's simply atb without the wait times).
The greater focus on political intrigue, seems like a logical step, specially for a fellow Matsuno fan.
Finally, I haven't fawned over your spritework, and that was a terrible sin of me. Look how adorable Ianna looks, Camus' badass armor, how well shaded Tris' cape is... it's definitely one of the things that make everything look so unique and polished in the game. There is just one tiny detail, and it might be just me, but because the guards' scythes use a clos-ish shade to their helmets (as in, they're both dark and pretty close together), at a glance they indeed looked like they were decoration on them. Maybe i'm just nuts. :P
I am taking a leaf out of Matsuno's book, but definitely will not be bringing in the 'ancient demons who possess people to start a war so they can resurrect their leader' plot. Let alone Zodiac Stones. Seriously, FFT's plot had so much potential to be the best FF story-wise but no. The Lucavi business screwed everything up. :\

Dyhalto already pointed out the oddity of the guards scythes being too close to their heads, so I'll probably fix up their sprites. I'm glad you like the sprites as a whole so far. ^^ Phantasy Star IV pretty much inspired me to go with larger sprites. And let's face it, chibis don't work for Eridanus' setting. Not in the slightest.

As for a CTB system, I'll mess around with it. If I like it, I'll use it.
Yeah, he does the same (though to a lesser extent) in the Ogre games while Vagrant story had the magical elements better integrated with the political intrigue, so it wasn't such a bother there. I do wonder what goes through the guy's head, that he feels the need to include an ancient evil in plots that so obviosuly don't need it.
Ancient evils are imo short hand, for man's lowest and basest, but his complex and nuanced characters already exhibit this in a more relatable an interesting way than any Altima would. :/
So very true. I wish there were more JRPG devs like Matsuno. The medium would become so much more interesting, instead of seeing the same rehashes of stories we've seen close to 100 million times. Quite sure he added the demons and save the world plot to make it seem more familiar to the FF demographic. ><

Anyway, Tristy does try to break away from the generic JRPG plot, but will probably only appeal to a certain players who like real politick and the works.
I don't "do" politics, but I'm quite interested in this game. I like that there's no good guy or bad guy. Just choices and consequences. I think it makes character a lot more interesting.
True. Medieval politics is awfully interesting. Indeed, almost as interesting as the daily circus that occurs here in my home country ( South Africa >< ). I kind of wish developers would look to our real-life history and draw inspiration from it, rather than making another darn FF-fangame.
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