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Game Design

Story vs Combat Mode

After all the feedback I've gotten regarding the first release of World Remade, I've decided going forward to implement 2 modes. Instead of calling them Easy or Normal I'm going to go with the more recent approach and refer to them as "Story Mode" and "Combat Mode". Both are pretty self explanatory but I'll detail them quick.

Story Mode - Narrative focused. Features less encounters and weaker enemies.
Combat Mode - Gameplay focused. More encounters and stronger enemies.

In general I am going to review the balance of the first release since there have been a lot of criticisms about the encounters taking too long (monster HP too high) and there being too many encounters despite most of them being optional. But I think introducing the 2 modes should open the games up to more players. I know a lot of MotW fans enjoyed the story but were having difficulties with certain sections; mostly puzzles which are more or less optional in WR.

Also a change like this is pretty minor from a design perspective since combat mode will be the default mode and I just need to dial everything back for story mode.

What do you guys think? Should I frame the modes differently? Are there additional modes you'd like to see?

Progress Report

New version is up! Includes combat flow improvements and bug fixes

World Remade V1.1 should be live. If you haven't played it but downloaded the previous version I'd recommend dling this one. It has several bug fixes and some additional features. Check the build notes below.

~~ WORLD REMADE V1.1 BUILD NOTES ~~

-The combat flow has been improved. You can now switch between actor skill command windows by pressing left/right. The extra step of using a skill and then backing out to select another party member have been removed!
-Switch between single skills and combos using Q/R
-Combat dialogue no longer breaks the skill command window and has been re-added to the game.
-Dead party members will now earn XP at the end of battle as intended.
-Yanfly's System Options v1.00 has been added! The player can now adjust various settings in the game; including displaying text instantly and hiding battle animations!
-Several other minor bug fixes listed below


-Ally animations properly offest.
-Party members fully heal after a defeat.
-Actor faces now reappear when Death state removed.
-Action window no longer pops up during the transition from battle to map.
-"Party was defeated" text no longer appears twice.
-Squished text no longer squished.
-Skill command window height/width adjusted to display 5 skills at a time /w longer names.

Game Design

Affinity System

-- AFFINITY SYSTEM --

The 2nd of the 3 major systems I want to implement is what I call the "Affinity System". In combat, actors will be able to perform double and even triple techs eventually (combos). Originally I thought actors would learn combos as the story progressed or they unlocked skills like in Chrono Trigger. But instead I decided to build a system around how often you use certain party combinations. The more you use a certain combination of characters, the more their affinity meter goes up. It will probably be a function of either number of battles or EXP received in battles (although that will have to take in account the rising EXP received later on). As the meter goes up, you'll learn combos for that group.

This system should encourage more experimentation with groups. Eventually, a group will max out their affinity and so if the player wants to learn more combos they'll have to switch up the party. At the most each pair can learn 2 double techs and each trio can learn 1 triple tech.

There are 7 actors that can be switched in/out. So let's do the math to figure out how many skills there are. Taking into account all the different combinations and then multiplying them by the no of skills.

Single = 8 * 7 (56)
Double Techs = 21 x 2 (42)
Triple Techs = 35 x 1 (35)
Total = 133

That makes for 133 skills! That's a lot. Possibly too much.

The affinity system might not just be for combos. It could also mean that passive stats go up the more you use a group together. Perhaps even AP regen.

What do you guys think? Are there too many skills? How should I calculate how much the affinity meter goes up?


Game Design

Skill Upgrade System

It's been 3 wks since the release of the first episode of World Remade. We've been giving the team sometime to recuperate rather than plow ahead. It's good because it gives Volrath and me more time to flesh out the story and design of the game. We're at that point where we have something to work with but we need to start thinking of the big picture. The more we can flesh out now the better.

I plan on implementing 3 major systems that will be introduced in the next chapter.

1. A skill upgrade system
2. An affinity system
3. A crafting system

-- SKILL UPGRADE SYSTEM --

The first of the 3 major systems I want to implement is a skill upgrade system. In the prologue, you learn skills by leveling up. Each actor has a unique role in combat. While the prologue only had 3 actors, we plan to have 7 for the full game. These actors can be switched in/out of the party between encounters. This should allow for a lot of combat variety.

Coming up with skills for each though is very difficult. Of course there will be some overlap but I still want each actor to have a unique combat function. Many RPGs suffer from giving the player too many skill options. Often you never need to use them. I don't want this to be the case with WR. There will be contextual skills, but I want to focus on quality skills over quantity.

To do this, I've decided to implement a skill upgrading system. Each actor will have 5 or so base skills but can also learn 3 or more optional skills. The optional skills will be helpful but not required for combat.

How the skills are upgraded is still in the works. At the moment, I'm thinking of adapting a system similar to Mass Effect 3. You earn points when you level that you can distribute among skills. You can reach certain milestones with skills which will increase their efficacy in some way. Certain skills will also unlock an additional skill. If you max out a skill, you will have a binary option at the end for the final upgrade which will change the skill in an interesting way.

Like ME, I was also thinking of adding an option to focus on upgrading your class which increases stats unique to the actor's abilities.

I really like this approach as a designer. It keeps the number of skills from getting out of control but still allows the player some choice in how they build their character. Because the base skills are set, I can still design around them instead of watering down battles because there are too many variables to account for. The RPG designer's dilemma!

What do you guys think? If you are worried there aren't enough skills, there will also be double and even triple techs (combos). These will be learned via the affinity system which I'll detail in my next blog post.

Announcement

A Preview of Things To Come

Subscribers will notice that I changed the status from "Complete" back to "Production". I've also marked the game as episodic and put in 7 episodes for now as a nod to MotW's 7 arcs but I still am not sure how many episodes it will be yet. And finally, I marked the game as commercial so there's no doubts what our intents are for the project.

Our hopes with this project is for it to be our first commercial venture in the Solest universe. MotW is still our most successful project and has the largest following of our games. We took a 2 year detour with X-Noir and Labyrinthine Dreams and while it was fun and probably necessary we decided it would make the most sense to return to our fantasy roots. It's the genre that utilizes the most of each of our strengths.

That said Lab Dreams hasn't quite made the bank we hoped to help fund future projects; including World Remade. We're still discussing possible ways to raise capital. Another Kickstarter is not entirely out of the question.

We've gotten some initial feedback for World Remade and while a lot of it has been positive there has also been a lot of critique. Particularly surrounding the combat which tends to be the most divisive element of RPGs. I'm looking into ways to improve the experience for those who found it a bit of a slog. In general players seemed to like the AP system and could see its potential. This is my first RPG in Ace and also the first time working with a combat system like this so I'm still figuring things out. I've had a lot of ideas since the contest submission that I'm excited to implement that should improve the overall experience. Once the urgency of the contest was over our team sort of went MIA so a lot of the work since has just been general design. It's good though since the pause gives me a chance to stand back and really think through the design philosophy of the game going forward.

For those who haven't played it yet or on the fence I hope you'll take the chance to try out our prologue. If you do play it PLEASE leave feedback be it positive or negative. Both really help out! When you're a struggling indie it doesn't take much encouragement to help keep the passion burning.

Announcement

World Remade is here! Just in time for the contest!

We hope you're ready to return to the land of Solest, because the first release of World Remade is waiting for you!

In the last month, Team Solest has been working like crazy to finish and polish this game and we're quite pleased with the results. Here's a list of features cause I know you guys just GOTTA have your feature lists! :P

-A new battle system that's far beyond anything we've attempted before! No MP. No Items. Combo Attacks! The AP System is easy to use and rewards experimentation!
-Witness the immediate aftermath of the Rain of Fire, the most devastating event in the history of Solest that will still have ramifications hundreds of years later in Master of the Wind. Meet the odd couple pairing of Rustek the kobold paladin and Taraja the shadow mage...along with a surprise guest!
-Characters are represented on screen with custom sprites by Sixty and beautiful full profiles by Enkur!
-A new original score from Joel Steudler, the composer of Labyrinthine Dreams!

We hope you guys love this game, and if you do, please remember to support us during the judging of the 2014 Indie Game Maker Contest! There will be a People's Choice Award and we need your votes! Tell your friends!

Although there are a lot of fights in this game, the majority of them can be skipped! Can you fight the minimum amount of encounters, open NO treasures and still defeat the last boss? We've tested it, so we know it's possible. Anyone who successfully completes a "speed run" will get a mention on our page! Also, pics or it didn't happen. Specifically, a screenshot of the fairy before the boss giving you the statistics for your playthrough.

Peace, bros! Enjoy World Remade!

Progress Report

Come on all testers!

We've done a pretty rotten job keeping this blog updated. But the last few weeks we've been so dang busy! And with just 2 more days we'll really be crunching to make sure we deliver the best effort we possibly can!

I'm still looking for more feedback on the game. I just put up a new build. You can download it at the link below.

KOBOLD V0.4

Planning on adding some screens/art later to the game page!

Request

Calling All Testers! Test Build #1

It's getting down to the wire for the Indie Game Maker Contest and we need all the testers we can get! If you're willing I have the first build of Kobold ready for testing. I plan on putting out one daily. Please reply with feedback or PM me. Thanks and if you submit feedback you'll go into the contest credits!

The test build download and info regarding the build is below...

>> DOWNLOAD KOBOLD V0.1 HERE <<

Download size: 128mb

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING BEFORE YOU START PLAYING

For this build, I'm skipping the opening cinematics and jumping right to the Mountain Ruins. The primary objective with this build is to test the level design and more specifically the combat. Things you should be thinking about during your playthrough:
-Are there too many enemies? Note: The majority of the enemies in the game are skippable.
-Are there certain enemies that are too difficult? Too easy?
-Do the numbers seem balanced?
-Are there certain skills that are too good? Or useless?
-Do the 3 characters feel balanced?
-Does the level flow well?
-Is combat fun? What else would you like to see in the combat.

Known Issues:
-Paralyze and Sleep do not remove!! Sleep will remove if hit and Paralyze if healed.
-When selecting an ally the selection box is not active at first. You have to press a arrow for it to start glowing.
-The ally animations also seem to be not properly offset.
-There is no full heal if you're defeated in combat.
-Character faces do not reappear after "Death" is removed. Not until they take an action anyway.
-The action window pops up at the end of battle. You can see it during the transition.

Still Missing:
-Void boss fight
-Most of the dialogue
-Finished profile art
-Finished battlers
-Some maps

Game Design

Let's meet the cast!

So who are you going to be wandering post-apocalyptic Solest with? Let's find out!

Rustek Konne - A kobold on a religious pilgrimage that is interrupted by the Rain of Fire. After seeing the chaos and destruction, completing his journey becomes much more important to him. He is old by the standards of his race and somewhat slow to adjust to the new world he's now living in, but he is a genuinely noble, faithful person who values fairness and community. He worries about his family, but knows he's trapped until they find a ship. As a paladin, he uses Holy spells and fights with the classic sword and shield combo.

Taraja - A young human who relishes the chance to start over that the Rain of Fire provides. Something of an outcast in her hometown, she took advantage of the chaos to escape and has forsaken her last name in order to make it harder to connect her to her roots. She is brave and highly intelligent but prone to insensitivity and know-it-all-ism. A promising dark mage, she has chosen the shadow mage specialization and when she must fight physically, she uses daggers.

Sesilida - A female dragoon, which is a race that resembles humans but has horns and wings. They are extinct post-Clean Slate, but that's not where we are so we're gonna take advantage of that. She is a deadly warrior and lethal with a spear but has a serene, playful temperament. A skilled blacksmith, she also goes against expectations and uses ice magic rather than fire.

Rohan Turnbull - A hulking minotaur who pillaged the seas as a pirate until the Rain of Fire reduced his ship to splinters. This is not noble Galdar the minotaur, this guy is a scoundrel with freewheeling morality that doesn't sit will with Rustek. But in a new world with unfamiliar geography, his knowledge of ships and sailing is a major asset. He is a fire mage but we haven't decided on his weapon yet. Something cool and heavy.

Lena Maywood - A lightning mage and summoner who was exiled from the elven city of Rellenia for her radical approach to magic. Since then, she has made progress with her goal of learning more about the rare, strange art of summoning, but suffered a major setback when the Rain of Fire destroyed much of her historical documents and research. She has had to become tough after centuries out in the wild and enemies who underestimate her will be rewarded with a heavy blow from her mace. Her long elven lifespan makes her a mentor for the rest of the party and a valuable source of knowledge.

Arowana - A female lodite whose colony was flooded during the chaos caused by the Rain of Fire. Though unable to speak the common language of Solest, she displays high intelligence and somehow learned wind mages whereas most lodites learn water magic. This twist baffles the other party members quite a bit. Arowana has no need for traditional weapons in combat, relying more on her teeth and claws.

???? - A human with extensive combat training. Those who have paid close attention to past Solest games will recognize him when he appears. (And no, it's not Stoic, but he was active during this time so perhaps he'll show up as well...) This character uses earth magic and a two-handed sword.

Enkur's done some early sketches for some of these characters. We'll post some more when he's made more progress! Until then, what do you guys think?

Progress Report

Dev Blog #1 - Welcome

Welcome to the World Remade game page! Perhaps you stumbled upon here by accident but more likely you're here because of your interest in Master of the Wind. In either case this will be where we share regular updates about the game. If you want to be involved more directly in the development of the game we have our own private forums over at Solest Forums. Due to spammers though I now have to vet each registration and I only approve registrants that contact me directly which you can do on here or through my email.

This will be the first dev blog. Perhaps Volrath will share some of his own feelings about the game as development goes on or in the comments.

The story for the demo has been more or less outlined and the battle system designed. So today I'm focusing on setting up the database. The most fun part amirite? I actually haven't created a RPG in VX Ace yet so I'm going through the help files and learning about the exciting new "Features" and "Effects" while also setting up an excel sheet to track all the data.

Fortunately, there will be only 3 PCs in the demo and only a handful of items and skills so it will be like a MVP. Enough to give the player a taste of what the larger came could be like. I'm hoping for a lot of feedback on the demo so we can improve the game from there before we're too deep in. To me a feedback loop is very important. The smaller the gap between input and output, the more we know how we’re doing and how to do it better.

The next few days will mostly be focused on planning and data entry so nothing too exciting.
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