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Episode Two: What You Can Expect

  • NicoB
  • 10/23/2011 07:22 AM
  • 8836 views
Hey guys,

So it's been awhile since I've posted a real update. Don't worry, I'm still working away on the game. I figure by now I'm long overdue now for a real update of what I've been working on. So, without further ado, here's a list of stuff you can expect with the release of Episode Two.


Less Linearity = More Sidequests

I know one of the biggest complaints of Episode One was the linearity of the gameplay. Aside from monster capturing and a few other bonuses, there weren't many other side missions or places to visit that were outside the main story. My primary reason for doing this was to narrow the player's attention to the main story, at least for the earlier parts. I wanted to wait until all the party members came together before giving the player the freedom to go wherever they wanted. Well, with Episode Two, you will given just that: freedom.


Can't have an RPG without a tournament

A lot of the fun will come from simply revisiting previous locations after having acquired all of your party members. Going back to old locations may trigger special cutscenes that reveal more about certain characters, as well as opening up a number of side missions the player can participate in. For example, visiting Lee's destroyed village or going to visit Ziggy's mother will open up a number of related side stories. I want my sidequests to stand above the stupid fetch quests and irrelevant bullshit of other JPRGs. I want it to engage the players by not only rewarding them with items and gear, but also by providing some insight into the main protagonists and antagonists that they might otherwise not have seen.


Original Soundtrack

Some of you may remember me mentioning a few blog posts ago how I had hired composer Jose Moreno, aka CastorOnline, to create an OST for Forever's End. Well, in only a few short months, he has already completed over 25 killer songs for the game!! To say the man is a talented musician would be a huge understatement.


Say goodbye to Nobuo again

You can check out all of his completed songs for the game thus far by clicking HERE. I will continue to update the page with new songs as they are released. If you like the tunes, please show Jose some love and post a comment or send him a PM.


New Artist

So some of you may already know, but boobledeeboo won't be able to draw for this project anymore. Art school and real life are taking up most of her time these days. Although this is saddening, there's definitely no hard feelings, as she's already donated so much of her time to this game for absolutely nothing in return. She will, regardless, always remain a member of this project.

So rather than have the whole second half of the game go without any new cutscenes at all, I've gone ahead and hired another talented artist (for a price this time) to finish out the remaining scenes. This artist is in fact the older brother of our very own Nessiah-chan, everyone's favorite RM art prodigy. That in itself holds some serious bragging rights.


BOOM, baby!

Nessiah's nii-sama, aka helrious, has already completed a few scenes, like the one above. He is an extremely talented artist, and I can't wait for players to experience these cutscenes themselves in-game.

Also, make sure to check out his other works at his deviantart page HERE.


Character Exposition

I mentioned before that I would be adding sidequests that will reveal more about the main characters. One way I plan on doing this is through Party Breakdowns. This is essentially a spinoff of Star Ocean's "Private Actions," where pressing a certain key before entering a village or town will cause the party members to separate, giving the player a chance to walk around and talk to each one individually. This, in turn, will allows players to get a more detailed look into party members personalities, as well as opening the door to a plethora of sidequests that revolve around these characters.


So a mercenary walks into a bar...

There will still be a large amount of characterization and plot twists in the main story, of course. I know a number of you felt that Marcellus has been a tad too "generic evil" so far. Episode Two will shed more light on Marcellus' past as well as that of his hooded partner, revealing that there is much more to him than meets the eye.


The Grand City of Dorent

This goes hand-in-hand with more freedom and additional sidequests. However, there's a reason I've made this a separate tab: Dorent is HUGGGGGEEEEEE!!! Seriously, it will take the player quite awhile to explore this massive beast of a metropolis. The city itself is divided into three districts: the Residential, the Industrial, and the Upper-Class, each with its own set of buildings and civilians. Although any district can be traveled to directly by foot, a tram system is set up to allow players to conveniently hop between each one.


Dorent's Grand Central Station

There are plenty of things for players to do in Dorent, such as shopping, tournaments, mini-games, and sidequests. In addition, there is also Dorent's castle, which has a number of interesting sites, such as Farnstein's Monster Research Center, where players can fight with any monster they've already captured. A big thanks to the hard work of Ultima187, who single-handedly mapped this amazing city. He is truly a master mapper and will forever have my undying gratitude.


A Combined Party Front

So up to this point, most of the party members have been separated from each other for one reason or another. Well, it's only a matter of time before they all come together, and when they do, it should make for some very interesting battle combinations.


Gotta catch em' all!

I wanted to make character abilities different enough to where each character had his own "specialty," while at the same time, making no one character too powerful. Lee can easily absorb skills but is limited to only a certain number; Slade's spells are harder to acquire, but pack a greater punch; Elizabeth's beckons are extremely powerful, but consume both her MP and SR. When I start throwing complicated, tough bosses at the player in Episode Two, it will be interesting to see what characters they use to take them down.


Choose your killer four

I also plan to have all experience be shared among party members, even if they are not in the current active party. Ability points, however, will only be shared among active party members.


Conclusion

So that's some of the new stuff you all can expect from the upcoming episode. I'm not going to go into any new details about the main story here, as I'd rather keep most of it a mystery (although you may be able to gather bits of it yourself from the screenshots).

If you're excited about the new stuff or have any questions, please don't hesitate to comment below. It's always encouraging to hear from you guys. Oh, and if you were a big fan of Episode One, I'd really appreciate your nomination for the 2011 Misaos. Cheers!

Posts

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chana
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
1584
Wow, plenty, plenty, plenty of new stuff. I really enjoyed episodei, all I can hope for episode 2, is that it's not only as good but greater fun still, while keeping with the story, characters and overall atmosphere of episode 1.
I actually didn't mind the linearity of Episode One, because I got that... well, it's the first half of the game. xD I'm stoked on the new material, though - it looks interesting~! ;w;

ALSO THE NEW ART WILL BE FAAAAABULOUS, I'M SURE. ;A; Ahahaha I am always stoked on pretty art. >w<d
benos
My mind is full of fuck.
624
Properly lost my save, got a bit far too. Guess episode two re continues from where it left off, so don't know what you can recap from what happened.
Oblic
Once a member of RMN, always a member of RMN!
1937
Wow... I sat here for about 20 minutes trying to remember what AP did for you. It's been a while since I played!

Not to stir anyone up, but when do you think this awesome new content will become available? Not looking for an exact date; more of an estimate, if anything? Also, how many more episodes do you think there will be?
Lol this game was pretty amazing to me already, I didn't really mind the linearity that much, I mean ep.1 was decently long enough to keep me entertained, liked catching the monsters too, pokemon anyone? xD

All the new stuff looks pretty interesting, love the artwork both old and new, though do we ever get to play as Nel? Lol I mean it's ok even if she's not playable since 9 characters is plenty, but it would be cool playing as a cat girl. :3
@Oblic: There will be three episodes overall. So each episode should have a substantial amount of content. As for a date, I'm not going to make the mistake I did last time of saying something too specific (and then end up releasing it a few months later); but my goal is sometime within the next couple of months. Once I'm nearing completion, I will be more specific.

@SomaReildha: I've been trying to decide whether to make Nel playable or not. The pros to doing that would be that it would give a nice rounded number of 10 playable characters, which would make the party menu look a lot nicer. It would also give Nel a bigger role outside the main story arc.

The cons is that there aren't many battle sprites for her character already made, meaning I would need to make more of my own (or hire someone to do it for me). Also, I've kinda run out of ideas for unique character skills. She's a thief, but I already have a character that can steal items (Goldo), so I can't do that.

I'd love to hear any ideas you guys might have for specialty skills for Nel. If the you guys help me come up with something good enough, I'll make her playable, how does that sound? :P
I say don't make her playable - have her keep tagging along! x3
9 characters is already a lot to balance out - adding in more will just create more work for you. @n@

If anything, I say have her show up in a support skill or something - like Angelo or Interceptor, or the extra party members in FF3, you know? xD
Wooooooooooooooow!

Tournaments, private actions, city-wide transportation, original soundtrack, etc. You sir, just made my day.

I'm truly amazed with how much you've been able to accomplish so far. Remember when I was talking about the potential this game has? From what I see in those screenshots, you are absolutely on the correct path!

My jaw literally dropped when I gazed upon the new artwork. It looks like helrious is an extremely talented individual.

I'd normally have some questions, but you covered most of them in the blog posting and the comments, hence the edit.
Lol I guess I can agree seeing as it would be alot of work, heh that'd be awesome if nel acted like interceptor dog shield/counterattack xD. Well except in her case it'd be nekogal shielding, though of course one can only do so much to a game. :)
Thiamor
I assure you I'm no where NEAR as STUPID as one might think.
63
Here is a unique idea for her, I think.
Have it if you have more than 1 thief in battle, they can combine a technique together, making it that much more powerful, in return, taking up 2 turns for the actual use of 1. Therefore balancing it out, so it is powerful, but takes up 2 party member's turns at once.
Sounds good. I was already conquering your tough bosses (except for one), before my party even got reunited, so lets see how well I do when I get to choose my own combination. I'll also be glad to test the second episode for ya, just like I did with the first. I actually still have the first chapter on my computer, and it contains my completed save file for the upcoming new version.

As for nel, if you do go that route and make her playable, lets see if I can't come up with a use. Shes a thief, but steal is already taken...in that case how about something to do with stalth? Thieves naturally have to be quick on there feet, and they have to be good at hiding. I've not quite got the ability figured out yet, but i'll work with the theme I just came up with, and see if I can't think of something.
I'm not really sure if Mel SHOULD be a playable Character, but demonlord's comment reminded me of another indie rpg I played a LONG time ago, and in it there were these two items, one of them was called the mirage cloak, and the other the shadow cloak I think, anyway they would make it impossible to hit you until the monster "Detected" you, and then the battle would go on like normal, which was REALLY awesome. I can't really think of any really unique way of fighting for Mel though, other then some sort of ability to "hide" in battle, to get a reprieve, and then maybe come back in whenever you used and item, ability, ect. I don't see how you could really flush out a fighter like that though, also you might be taking away abilities and stuff from Gordo if you do. Anyway AWESOME GAME. I just finished it and I can't wait for the next one.
Is there going to be some sort of difficulty spike. I say this because I've played through all of Episode 1 and aside from the Bonus Boss battles, absolutely nothing I fought put up that good of a fight.
Out of interest, do you have to include Epoch in the party?
author=Little Wing Guy
Out of interest, do you have to include Epoch in the party?

At first, but later on, you won't have to.

As for the Nel thing, I may do a sort of Interceptor kind of thing where she randomly jumps in with an attack as some people suggested; it sounds to me like making her an official battler isn't a major issue.
Lol we get to take Epoch out? Cool if you want your own style party, though I figure I'd just leave him in the party since he's the main character and all. :3

Oh yeah, any ideas on how Hyuga's going to be now? Lol after fusing I think with the yellow crystal, will he pull a FF tactics zodiac brave morph? xD Well, or something similar to that.
author=SomaReildha
Oh yeah, any ideas on how Hyuga's going to be now? Lol after fusing I think with the yellow crystal, will he pull a FF tactics zodiac brave morph? xD Well, or something similar to that.


It's a secret. ;)
NicoB, Forever's End has fastly made it's way into my "top" list of favorite RPG Maker games. It's amazing, man; that's the easiest way for me to say it.

What I'm really looking forward to the most for episode 2 is having the entire cast of party members at my disposal, side-quests, and exploring Dorent (which I didn't expect). Goldo and Lee are definitely going to be in my main party. I may just keep Epoch in there, too...except I had a really tough time finding Upgrade Coupons, so I hope that gets easier somehow.

Things I'd like to say about the game so far is:
- I don't mind the linearity. The fact that you had the player continuously switching who they were playing as, mostly accomplished through the split scenarios, didn't make feel as linear as it probably was.
- The monster catching was a side-quest in and of itself and it was freaking awesome. Don't change a thing about it. On a side note, will there be this, like, super awesome reward for eventually capturing every possible monster in the game--other than the prizes you get for collecting all the monsters of specific area, of course?
- Dungeon design, characters, story...all the RPG staples were good. No complaints that I can think of at the moment.
- I was looking forward to using a cute cat girl in my party--Nel--but it won't kill me if she's never playable. I suppose I second Somareildha's suggestion: make her appear in battle as someone's special ability or something, and it would make most sense to have the ability/whatever-it-will-be to be associated with Cyrus, if anyone.
- Oh, and the game's length is phenomenal. Every other time the game asked me if I wanted to save I thought to myself, "Welp, that's probably the end of the first episode..." Fortunately, I was mistaken. I hope the second episode is somewhere close to if not longer than the first.
- I absolutely love how every character has a unique way of obtaining skills. It's a great way to make every character feel interesting and important.

That's all I can think of at the moment. Overall, though, this is an outstanding game, man. I can't wait to play more. Seriously.
Thanks for the feedback and the praise Mitsuhide! I'm glad my game made a positive a impression on you.

And yeah, if you manage to capture all of the monsters in the game, you will get something very nice. ; )
If you miss capturing some monsters early in the game is it possible to catch them later on I missed one or two and i see no way to encounter them again.
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