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When world views collide, a friendly visit to a childhood friend quickly escalates. Soon, four unlikely adventurers find themselves on an unexpected search for ancient sacred scriptures - and, even more importantly, truth.

The Book of True Will is a dialogue- and character-heavy puzzle RPG about a delicate subject: Religion. The game's main focus is to provide quality storytelling together with challenging yet entertaining gameplay.

This game does not feature any combat. Rather, the storyline is progressed by overcoming various obstacles in the form of different puzzles and minigames that will test your reflexes, memory and logical thinking skills. While the first few puzzles are relatively easy, the level of challenge increases as you progress.



Some notes on the game:

- Despite the controversial nature of some of the dialogue, The Book of True Will is absolutely not intended to be any sort of propaganda, neither pro- nor anti-religious. Just see for yourself.
- This game takes place in the fantasy world of Terrein. But don't worry, you will never be buried under tons of lore specifications or introductions to world history. Everything the player learns about the setting is conveyed exclusively through character dialogue or other meaningful interaction.
- While the game does contain some custom assets and 100% non-RTP music, The Book of True Will is still essentially an RTP game. This has two reasons, one being that graphical art is not one of my talents and I decided graphics are not my highest priority. The other is that I also saw it as a challenge to prove it is very well possible to create a decent game using mainly RTP resources. Of course, whether or not I succeeded is not for me to decide.
- The only script used for this game is Dubealex' Advanced Message Script, which is pretty much indispensable. Everything else is created purely through eventing.
- You do not need the RTP to play this game. Simply download and extract the zip folder, run the .exe file and start playing. Enjoy yourselves and don't be shy with comments or criticism.


http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/

Latest Blog

Featured! Hooray! And what a Dilemma.

So. It came out of nowhere. But it happened. The Book of True Will is RMN's Featured Game for November. When I uploaded the first download for this project now almost a year ago, I never expected it to get more than a small amount of attention. I was, and still am, happy to see the generally positive feedback and constructive criticism it received. But I never thought that this game, this short epiphany of mine expressed in game form, would ever get Featured.

At an earlier point, I already openly expressed my opinion that I myself do not believe The Book of True Will to be a good enough game to warrant a Feature. Yet for some reason, people wanted to see it on the front page anyway. Which is amazing, and makes me feel both very proud and very humble. But seeing the title screen of my own game right there every time I go to RMN for a month is going to feel incredibly surreal.

But in addition to that, this situation becomes even more confusing for me due to its timing. Just mere days ago, the winners of the IGMC 2015 have been announced. We can see all these fantastic-looking games that managed to convince a large audience of players and a group of experienced and critical judges, and have been rewarded with substantial prizes. And right at this time, with so many great options to choose from, RMN decides to Feature this little RTP-based puzzle game about a controversial subject. The irony is almost tangible here.

That's not to say I'm being ungrateful or don't appreciate the positive attention. On the contrary, I feel enormously honoured and encouraged by the fact that people apparently enjoyed this game so much despite its limitations. Since the release of The Book of True Will, I have learned much about its strengths and flaws thanks to all the feedback you have given me. And even though there are a number of things about this game I would do differently now, I still am very happy with how the final product turned out. It was important for me to express my thoughts on the game's subject in a way that would make the recipient feel involved and encouraged to think critically but openly about them. And if this Featured Game spotlight means that some more players might give this game a chance, then that's already more than I could ask for.


Of course, if all of this was just a big conspiracy, trying to trick me into getting motivated to make more games... well, you achieved your goal. For the first time in months, during which I played, tested and/or made puzzles for other people's games, today I have been working on a project of my own again. There are many more stories I want to tell, and many more games that, one day, I want to be playable not only in my head. Either way, with this Feature, you've ensured that I will not lose interest in game making for a long time to come. In other words, you brought this upon yourselves.


One last thing I cannot say often and loudly enough:

Thank you so much, all of you, for your support!

Posts

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I actually made this account just to comment about your game! I hope nothing seems rude or hateful, as i actually really enjoyed the game, despite its shortness. These are the few things i wanted to comment on:

Characterization: The characters seemed a little... flat to say the least. I understand that it's probably a result of such a short story, however i think they could have been built up a little more with the introduction. This is my personal opinion, though, and everyone else seemed happy with it!

Continuity: I do like the concept you attacked here. Its a concept often debated amongst peers and people of all ages. I do personally think it's slightly weird how the two female protags just jump on board with the whole idea of 'Adventure!!' Though the ending is fitting, it does leave more questions than it answers. It strayed off topic a whole lot and brought up some questions that weren't ever answered such as why does he always get so angry?

Dialogue: The dialogue seemed fine to me, however a little bit more flavour text would have been nice and a little bit more insight as to what players are supposed to be doing with each puzzle. I got stuck so many times it started to take away from the game itself. I mean, forty seconds to solve a puzzle that doesn't even stay up that long? I ended up needing to run the characters off their bridge to get my agitation levels down.

Plots: The plot itself seemed... rushed if you will?
"Hi, im back in my home town! Why are you a nun?"
"They found a temple of your faith!"
"Adventure!!!!"
Now, again, my own personal opinion, but i believe the story could have been built up a whole lot more. Have more story building and less "let's play 'rack-your-brain'!" For the rune puzzle, i had to look up what the God's name was. I couldn't remember it for the life of me and there's no hints as to what you're doing after one cutscene is over. Maybe more interactions with the pcs when you're stuck?

Pacing: Again, the game seems rushed. It seems almost like you're... how to say it... too excited to show the ending? It's one puzzle after another without giving any time for the characters to build up and for players to form a relationship with. They showed little to no emotion and almost no backstory was given. You find out little bits and pieces about the characters at the "climax" of the story, but other than that it's about "heathens" and "zealot-girl".

Conflict: There was little to no conflict other than the main goal and the puzzles that stood in the way. The characters fought with each other over the and provided little as to why they chose the path they chose. The only real conflict i found in the game was the final puzzle. That one was crazy. However, the four before it had me on the verge of breaking my poor computer.

Over all, i give it a 3.5 / 5. I hope you continue to make games, as i would love to play another. (:

EDIT: I'll copy-pasta my own comment as a review. #lazy
NeverSilent
Got any Dexreth amulets?
6064
Thanks, both of you. I'm glad you enjoyed this game. And don't worry, Gourd_Clae, it still startles me every time I go to RMN and see my own title screen.

argh, I'm glad this game managed to provoke so much thought on your side, and I'm grateful to you for sharing it. I won't be able to give an in-depth Response to everything you brought up, but I'd like to at least say the following:
I'm an atheist myself as well and to a certain degree, share many of your views. The main goal of the narrative in this game was however not to explore the entire complex of religion in all its forms, as that would have been impossible. But I did want to comment on the problematic nature of conflicts between the different "sides" of the argument, and how the unfortunately prominent dogmatism on any "side" keeps dividing people that otherwise would have had no reason to oppose each other.

I agree with you that there are aspects to any religion that are problematic, and I indeed believe that these beliefs should not be allowed to control other people's lives. But if you say that religion is harmful because of what it does to religious people themselves as well, I think you're attributing things to it that are not exclusive to religion. We all impose rules and restrictions on ourselves because of our world views and moral convictions, and religion is just one way this can manifest itself.
That's not to say that there are no lines that shouldn't be crossed, and if (self-)destructive tendencies start to form, there is reason to intervene. But trying to tell others they can't live according to certain rules is not much better than telling others they must do so.

One small comment on the gender problematics in religious environments: It's true that this was not a huge focus of this game, but the fact that all the higher ranking representatives of the Church of Platos (the Head Priest of Bradon, the High Priests, etc.) are men is a subtle hint. Gender equality in the world of Terrein is far from an unproblematic subject, and I hope to reflect more on that in future projects.
I don't know how, but I only just realized this game was featured. Congrats, Never!

It's pretty obvious I liked this game when I played it, so it kind of goes without saying that I feel the feature was absolutely deserved.

I might play again - it's been awhile!
In addition to legal issues, using well-known music runs the risk of evoking unwanted effects in an audience because they have heard it before and have their own memories associated with it, which can basically ruin the atmosphere.


This is quite true. Now imagine your first RPG Maker game was Last Scenario, which uses the RTP music so well you're bound to make the same kind of associations and can never play another RMXP game again without that deja vu effect. LIFE IS SUFFERING.

Speaking of which, it's been a while since I've seen a good RMXP game. I actually really like the RTP graphics for it, so this was a welcome reprieve from the god-forsaken monstrosity that is the RMVX RTP.

Though I personally believe it should be the characters' personalities that matter, not so much their gender.


As Shayako touched on, it's mainly a matter of representation; media is incredibly oversaturated with male protagonists, so a female one balances the scales a little and helps women who are annoyed that they can never be part of their favorite stories. If there was more diversity in art to begin with, it would be less of an issue, I think. Personally, I am grateful you went with a balanced cast, and without drawing on awful gender roles and stereotypes either.

As for the actual game. I liked the puzzles, though I agree that the repetition in the first one is confusing, since there's no way for the player to expect it. If one of the characters said "it looks like this has to be unlocked twice", that would have helped. I did surprisingly well on the tile puzzle despite the fact I usually suck at those. I got stumped on the second part of the glyph puzzle -- I figured out the word you needed to make, but it was hard for me to see how to spell it out. But then I looked at my translation of the floor and discovered the answer was staring me in the face. XD I also agree that the first reflection puzzle was the hardest. The final puzzle was nicely climactic, but Undertale has made me good at dodging bullets, so it wasn't too tough for me (I got it on my first try, though with only one hit left).

Story.

I definitely think you only scratched the surface of the issue. The story only really explores one avenue of religious faith -- the idea of "absolute truth" -- but that's far from the only thing that attracts people to religion. As an atheist, pragmatist, and utilitarian, I'm far more concerned about the tangible effects religion has on people. You touch on the issue of holy war and different followers' interpretations of it, but it's relegated to the background and is never really a factor in the characters' own self-reflection. I think that's a far more pressing issue to address, and probably the one that most people are concerned about when they bring up the issue of religion. I don't really care about all the philosophical junk -- that's just personal opinion and I'm pretty okay with that. Whatever floats your boat etc. But once you start using that philosophy to influence the lives of other people, that's when I start my objections.

So, in that regard, the ending fell really flat for me. The big moral was supposed to be that we shouldn't argue just for the sake of being right, which, yes, good moral, but that's not my stake in the debate at all, so it couldn't do anything for me. In all honesty, it felt a bit strawman-y -- a lot of religious folks use that accusation to discredit atheists who disagree with them, which of course makes atheists look petty and ridiculous, but the reasons for skepticism are so much more varied than that. I would have liked to see an atheist character oppose the religion on more solid, moral grounds.

Speaking of that, you didn't at all address what I consider to be the most insidious part of religion: the way it negatively influences its adherents. Take Christianity for instance -- all that stuff about how even feeling the wrong emotions is a sin, as if that's something you can control? That really, really messes people up. That is one of my biggest personal objections to religion, especially the Abrahamic faiths: the doctrine teaches people to hate and punish themselves just for being human, and I find that inexcusably cruel and inhumane. In some ways, at least in my sheltered first-world experience, I'd even consider it a bigger problem than the xenophobia. Good people can always choose to only follow the nice verses, and bad people can always find other excuses for violence, but we lack the same safeguards when that darkness is directed at ourselves. I've talked to religious people who agree that oh no, their religion is a personal thing, of course they'd never hurt or judge someone else for going against the teachings of Christ -- but they still apply the doctrines to themselves, because they're such good Christians who want to have a good relationship with God! And it hurts me so much to see them destroy themselves like that. For me personally, this is the big moral battleground when it comes to religion -- and of course there's a lot of dubiousness and grey area there! Should I really be deciding whether another person is capable of making decisions for themselves? Is it right for me to be concerned that they're lying to themselves about being happy, or is that just patronizing? There's lots of room for philosophical exploration on this topic!

And, while I understand why you didn't want to go here, I'm still disappointed you didn't: religious treatment of women. Every religion I know about in any detail treats women absolutely terribly -- pushes them into very limited social roles, restricts their rights, forces them to be subservient to men, you see it over and over again. The details and the severity can change, but there's always a constant of misogyny in the major religions. This is another big issue that deserves to be a part of this discussion, yet despite both of the religious characters being nuns, it's not brought up at all. Is Platanism supposed to be egalitarian, sidestepping the whole issue? That's well-meaning, and in a story where the religion was a background element that would be very refreshing, but when you make religion the centerpiece, it feels kinda tacky to just say the issue doesn't exist in your world. From a very uncharitable perspective, it could look like you're pretending it doesn't exist in real life either.

And the ending... I expected it, but I was a little disappointed. Ending these kinds of stories with "but there is no real answer, you must decide for yourselves!" has become a cliche at this point. To be honest, I feel it leans a little too much in favor of the religious side, since religion is all about faith, ambiguity, and lack of evidence. The skeptic side needs evidence to work with, or it's nothing but conjecture, no better than its opponent. Religion can maintain its spiritual teachings and beliefs regardless of what the actual facts and teachings are -- just look at all the sects and schisms throughout religious history. I think it would have been a lot more interesting for them to find the book and have the skeptics turn out to be technically "right", leading the faithful to have an epiphany that this doesn't invalidate their faith because true spirituality is about coming to your own answer, with the literal scripture just being a tool. I believe that would be a more even-handed resolution, and possibly a happier ending for everyone, too.

So...hm. Those were a lot of rambly words. But that's my perspective. I will say that I think you handled the area you chose to tackle quite well; I'd just have preferred a bit more breadth.


Also, since you mentioned proper grammar: You made one mistake. When "father" or "mother" is used in place of a name, it's capitalized. (So, like "Did you give the letter to Mother?" versus "Did you give the letter to my mother?") I think you made the error in Kyle's backstory scene.
NeverSilent
Got any Dexreth amulets?
6064
I wasn't so sure about that at first, but if you say so, I guess it must be true. Right? Right?

Thanks so much for your support, nhubi! I really appreciate it.
nhubi
Liberté, égalité, fraternité
11099
Run with it NeSi, trust me it's well deserved.
NeverSilent
Got any Dexreth amulets?
6064
Thanks so much, you both! I'm still trying to digest that this actually happened.
Deltree
doesn't live here anymore
4556
Congrats on the feature! I think I'll play through again!
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7488
Congratulations on the Featured Game, NS! Very well deserved!
NeverSilent
Got any Dexreth amulets?
6064
Thanks for sharing your notes, Malandy! I'm glad you enjoyed the game as much as you did.
And also thanks to Marrend for your grammatical advice.

author=Malandy
However, for the Reflection puzzle... why is there an option to give up on the second room? It seems like it does nothing...

Also, is there a way to save outside of the designated save points?

Hm, that's very odd. I tried it out again and looked at the event in the editor, but it seemed to work without problems. What exactly was the issue you experienced?

No, unfortunately you can only save at those points where you're asked specifically. Which probably wasn't the greatest possible design decision, especially for the multi-part puzzles. But it was the only way I could think of to make it work without breaking the flow and functions of the game.

author=Malandy
For the Rune Puzzle, I managed to forget the word, and had to look it up here... Is it mentioned in any of the dialogue in that room? Or do we just have to remember?

I'm quite sure the word is mentioned in that room (as well as many times before), so to be honest I never really expected anyone to not remember it at that point in the game. But well, those are exactly the situations in which the Hints & Solutions page comes in handy.

author=Malandy
Typo: you write 'Platos Children' in the scene before the chasm, it should be 'Platos's Children'...

Thanks for pointing that out. I had to look it up and to my surprise, I found the correct form is indeed "Platos's children".

author=Malandy
How did you make the verses of the Book of True Will? They sound really authentic, whatever that would mean here... I guess to make them, you just take morals and spin them into a verse-ish way of speech?

Well, I took the inspriration for that form from actual "Holy Books", mainly the Bible. But you're not wrong, all I really did was apply that manner of writing to a Platian rule I had designed, and try to make it sound as realistic as possible.

author=Malandy
Wow! So much discussion that is relevant to actual religious stuff! Nice Touch!

Well, for a large part that is indeed the point of the game. In addition to me just being interested in the topic myself and wanting to share the puzzles with potential players, The Book of True Will actually is supposed to be an exploration of real-world discussions and conflicts about religion. Before creating the game, I talked about the subject a lot with religious people (including my testplayer), and I also attended a seminar at university in which it played a large role.

author=Malandy
Sequel?

No. Sorry to disappoint. But this story has come to a conclusion and is over. We will never see Pira, Madelyn, Kyle and Leroy go on an adventure again.
(But... even though their roles as main characters are finished, that doesn't mean they are never going to appear again. I have plans to make more games set in the same world, so who knows...)

author=Malandy
Butterfly Tea!

Hey, nice! You recognized Butterfly Tea's music? I only used a few of his tracks in this game, but the main theme is among them.

author=Malandy
Have we ever seen Pira smile? Or is it always that slight frown? I really can't remember...

No, the facesets don't change in this game. She always appears slightly worried. (But again, who knows what the future might bring...)

author=Malandy
Woah! Those books they're reading!

Glad to hear you found those scenes effectful. It's really important for the point of the game.

author=Malandy
Giant RATS? Or normal rats?

Just normal rats. And believe me, in a medieval world a normal rat plague in your house is bad enough already.

author=Malandy
Only Pira and Kyle get themes? Well, they are the mains... Main shipping FTW!

That was another small way in which I tried to establish who the true main characters are. Especially at the beginning it's not completely obvious, after all.
Also, a little humorous comment regarding "shipping":


author=Malandy
Pronunciation of Platos Rambling...

Personally, I don't think it's very important, though I was going to explain it in the "Behind the Scenes" once I find the time to make those. But since you brought it up anyway:
The "official" pronunciation of Platos is a follows: The "Pla" is pronounced with an "a" like in far, while the "tos" is pronounced like the word toss.
Platos also really has nothing to do with the Greek philosopher Plato (whose name is pronounced like "play-toe" in English).


Again, thanks for playing, and I'm happy you enjoyed it and gave your comments.
author=Marrend
author=Malandy
Typo: you write 'Platos Children' in the scene before the chasm, it should be 'Platos's Children'...
I think "Platos' Children" would be the correct form to use in this case. Though, I might not be the best arbiter of this kind of thing!

Well, from that thread you pointed to, saying " Platos' Children " means "Children of a group of Platos", where Platos means: More than 1 Plato...

Now I'm wondering if there is more than 1 Plato or whatever... 'cause you had some dialogue about the 9... somethings, from a speaker in that mass of people in front of the 1st Church... Or is that Platos (Singular) Has 9 forms like Christian Holy Spirit Thing, or Greek Gods: Ex. Athena: Athena Atrytone, Athena Pathenos, Athena Promachos, Athena Glaukopis, Athena... etc.

Pronunciation of Platos Rambling...



Should 'Platos' be pronounced:

"Plate-ohs", like Play-Dohs?

Or Plat-Oh-sss, like Plat-in-um...

Makes sense as the second due to platinum references...

Now I'm wondering how to say Plato, the Greek Philosopher guy... Is it Plat-oh, or Plate-oh?

Gah! Now I'm thinking of relations between Platter and Plate!

Great... Plate and Platinum are related to Plate via Greek and Latinate languages

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/plate

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/platinum

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/platina#Spanish

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/plata#Spanish

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CF%80%CE%BB%CE%AC%CF%84%CE%BF%CF%82#Ancient_Greek


Oh! "Bludgeon of Inspiration"!
Marrend
Guardian Gorgon of the Description Thread
18308
author=Malandy
Typo: you write 'Platos Children' in the scene before the chasm, it should be 'Platos's Children'...

I think "Platos' Children" would be the correct form to use in this case. Though, I might not be the best arbiter of this kind of thing!
This is pretty good!

However, for the Reflection puzzle... why is there an option to give up on the second room? It seems like it does nothing...

Also, is there a way to save outside of the designated save points?

For the Rune Puzzle, I managed to forget the word, and had to look it up here... Is it mentioned in any of the dialogue in that room? Or do we just have to remember?

Typo: you write 'Platos Children' in the scene before the chasm, it should be 'Platos's Children'...

How did you make the verses of the Book of True Will? They sound really authentic, whatever that would mean here... I guess to make them, you just take morals and spin them into a verse-ish way of speech?

Still not done the game... I wonder if we get to see the Book or not...?

Wow! So much discussion that is relevant to actual religious stuff! Nice Touch!

Huh, interesting revelations at the end there! I wonder what will happen now?

Sequel?

Butterfly Tea!

Have we ever seen Pira smile? Or is it always that slight frown? I really can't remember...

#I-Agree_With_The_Gourd

Ohhh! Epilogue! YAY!

Woah! Those books they're reading!

Giant RATS? Or normal rats?

I wanna scene select, but, I guess you can't have everything and what there is still AWESOME! I wonder a scene select's even possible from RPG Maker's Main Menu...? (That's what saving and saving those saves are for!)

Audio Folder Access! Yeah!

Only Pira and Kyle get themes? Well, they are the mains... Main shipping FTW!
NeverSilent
Got any Dexreth amulets?
6064
Hey, thanks a lot, Gourd_Clae! I'm really glad the game resonated so well with you. The theme is a subject that has occupied my mind a lot, so I'm always happy to hear when someone gets my thoughts on the matter and feels a similar way.
And while I still like simple character dialogue as a storytelling device, I'll definitely try to rely a bit less heavily on it for future projects.

The funny thing is, I always intended for any trace of romance in the story to strictly be implied only, if at all. So while there's never anything that explicitly suggests it, you're certainly not wrong either to have found it in the game.

It's good to hear you didn't have too many difficulties with the puzzles, even if you didn't like them all equally.
Since I'm not a native speaker of English, I'm afraid despite my best efforts a few errors are always to be expected. So I might not recognize them myself either. If any of them come to your mind again, feel free to notify me. Either way, thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Haha, yeah, you know all about "RTP", isn't that right? But more seriously: Thank you, I'm glad you appreciate even the use of RTP, even if it's maybe not the superior choice. You're probably right about the carpet issue, I must have completely missed that. And well, the room at the end... that wasn't even a choice any more, it was an absolute must.

Thanks again for playing!
I just finished this game and geez... That was really really cool. What you were trying to express is about the same way I feel and I appreciate the way you did it. The polar opposites in Madelyn and Leroy were really clever and I enjoyed the romance somewhat. It could have done with a lot more show as some people have suggested, but I really loved it for what it was.

I enjoyed your logic puzzles and I didn't really mind the repition. The timing/memory puzzles weren't really my thing, but they were nice for what theywere!
I did find a grammar problem here or there, though I didn't really take note of them while I was playing sorry! Maybe just take a quick looksie when you have time?

Really good overall! I love finding a nice RTP game, though your carpets were a bit wonky with the shapes since carpets tend to be rectangles and squares rather than random unnameable shapes. The game looked nice for the most part though, and I appreciated the p-shaped room in the end.
unity
You're magical to me.
11176
You're welcome! Like I said, you've made a great game here and it deserves attention :DDD
NeverSilent
Got any Dexreth amulets?
6064
Yeah, I know. We talked about it some time ago, actually.
I should thank you again, unity! You're awesome and I'm honoured you suggested this game for a spotlight.
NeverSilent
Got any Dexreth amulets?
6064
Thanks, Red_Nova! How did this happen? Is this even possible?

Whoever among the moderators decided to declare this game a Gem: Thank you so much! I feel honoured.

(P.S.: "Behind the Scenes" is coming soon - after the Game Jam is over.)
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7488
And now you got a Gem Spotlight! Congrats, man!
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