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"It's a sobering thought, isn't it? To be able to look out your window and see the end of the world."

The world is on the verge of being consumed by the Fog, an ever-growing mist that corrupts and destroys all life within it. Unable to reach the source, humanity has no way to stop the Fog's growth. The destruction of the world is inevitable; humanity is at the end of its time.

In Asala, one of the few remaining settlements outside the Fog, two friends are on the verge of completing their training to become knights sworn to help weather the coming disaster: the cynical Aeyr Wilder and the kindhearted Mia Alacruz. However, catastrophic events soon destroy the very foundations of their lives, and they are forced to make the choice between their precious friendship and following the path they each believe is right. Their faith in their beliefs, and in each other, will be pushed to the limit as they decide what to save and what to sacrifice as the world collapses around them.

"There is no stopping the coming apocalypse. The only question remaining is: can humanity endure it?"


Prayer of the Faithless integrates elements of classic survival-horror games into its turn-based battle system. There are no readily accessible healing abilities, so your survival depends on managing a limited supply of restorative items you find or purchase. In addition, your equipped weapons and armor will drastically affect your performance by raising some stats, penalizing others, and changing your available abilities.

To reward a playstyle of controlled aggression rather than raw power and high levels, the battle system in Prayer of the Faithless turns a number of RPG conventions on their heads: You have three actions per turn, and you can spend them however you wish during battle. Plus, allies and enemies cannot guard, but must maintain their Stamina pools to block incoming damage. You must damage the enemy's Stamina to be able to hurt them, but be careful: overusing powerful abilities will leave allies wide open to attack!

Each ally's personality traits affect their combat prowess and abilities. As the story goes on and the stakes are raised, these traits will develop (and degrade!) along with the character's mental state. You will get to truly understand how each character thinks and feels through conversations and battle performance, and see how the state of the world affects their morale and beliefs.

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Amputation is the Best Medicine

I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that I've had more fun working on Prayer of the Faithless this last month than I have since the year began. The cutting and streamlining process forced many components of the game to snap into place, and I've been able to put a bow on some some design choices that I've been on the fence about for months, if not YEARS.

It's been rightfully pointed out to me that this is not the first time I've made serious changes to the characters and enemies, and I need to bring this vicious cycle to an end once and for all. To that end, I've tested all of my changes on enemies in chapter 1 and chapter 5 to get a sense of how well these new mechanics scale over the course of the game. Only when I'm satisfied testing on both early and late game enemies will I update the rest of the game's enemies with the change. I can say with certainty that whatever changes I make here will NOT have to be reworked again. If I ever have to rework the game to this level again, I will eat my own socks.




Inspired by the tense feeling I wanted to invoke in players meeting a new enemy, I've been playing around with hiding enemy elemental and state resistances and requiring players to attempt to hit enemies with them in order to find out what they are. You'll still be able to see their stats, but everything else will have to be found out by actually fighting them.

I understand that, for many players, this can be seen as arbitrarily adding an extra step to an already difficult game. However, please consider the following: If you have access to ALL the information about an enemy, there's a good change that you will start to formulate a strategy to take them down before even understanding what the enemy is capable of. Being blindsided by a new ability that you didn't take into account isn't ideal for what I want to put players through. Instead, I want them to start off slowly, prepare their party for any scenario, and be able to adapt to whatever the enemies throw at you.

Enemy count for troops have been reduced significantly. Outside of special battles like Black Spouts or bosses, you should expect to fight about 1-3 enemies per troop (and fighting 3 at once is a rarity outside of the aforementioned Black Spout and boss fight). This gives me the freedom to give each enemy more depth, such as using a specific debilitating move at the start of the fight, and some will react to being hit with specific states or when they are the last enemy left in a troop.

If you've played the demo, you may have noticed the state list is slightly different now. The biggest change is that limb injuries that block different ability types do not exist anymore. Not to say that they are gone completely, though! In fact, the effects themselves have been absorbed into specific emotional ailments. I did this because I wanted to place more emphasis on emotional ailments with this new system. Not only because fewer states are easier for me to manage, but because emotional ailments now tie into the story quite a bit more. In the interest of avoiding spoilers, that's all I'll say about it for now.



So... the Merchant was another component of the game I was seriously debating on cutting completely. The Merchant was originally designed as a way to load up on healing supplies as well as provide an alternative way to get Black Spout weapons players found to be too difficult to get. However, I didn't want to encourage players to grind the same spot to save up cash to buy out the Merchant's inventory. Now, their role has been downplayed to provide players a pit stop to restock on items while they continue their journey and NOT as an excuse to stop forward progress and grind to buy out their entire inventory. If I decide later that the Merchant should also sell Black Spout weapons, they will NOT be sold in the same chapter as that Black Spout appears.

In addition, the Merchant's inventory is going to be different for each campaign. For example: since Aeyr's party has healing abilities, the Merchant will not sell healing items to him. Instead, the Merchant will sell certain attack items that Mia's party would not be able to get.


There are a lot of other changes as well, but I hope these two should give you an idea of the new goals of the game. Of course, I'll still happily listen to any feedback you may have about these ideas. If I decide to walk back some of these design choices, I've balanced the rest of the game so as not to be greatly impacted by such changes.


As of this writing, I have enacted these changes across the entire game, meaning that all allies,enemies, and components have been given this new treatment. From here, making adjustments is as simple as raising/lowering enemy levels and updating a handful of common events. For the first time in a long while, I get home from work and think, "Alright! Time to get some work done on PotF!"

I have absolutely no regrets about the decision to rework this game. Thank you so much for your patience with my shenanigans.

Posts

unity
You're magical to me.
11051
...The name changed? o_O
Marrend
Guardian Ghost of the Description Thread
17371
author=unity
...The name changed? o_O


It's something of a running gag from the Best of Blogs. Probably?
unity
You're magical to me.
11051
Red sure puts in the work for just a joke XD
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7475
If I'm going to do something stupid, then I want to be proud of my stupidity.
JosephSeraph
奇跡なゲイパワー♡
6891
welp, you told me you'd like to see one of your characters in my style! There it is! Its not finished yet, and I'm recording a video XD
wah, this was fun. I love working from other people's designs, its refreshing :~

hopyuu like it! ~ <3

unity
You're magical to me.
11051
OMG SHE'S SO CUTE! :DDDD <3
JosephSeraph
奇跡なゲイパワー♡
6891

COLORSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
VIDEO INCOMING :D :D :D

GLAD U LIKE IT UNIII <3 <3 <3 <3
unity
You're magical to me.
11051
So beautiful! <3 Can I use that as my avatar picture? :DDDDD
JosephSeraph
奇跡なゲイパワー♡
6891
WAHHH <3 <3 OF COURSE BAHAHAH <3 >w< ALSO ESBY'S ALSO USING MY ART ON HIS AVATAR THESE THINGS MAKE ME MELT I CANT DROP THE CAPS BAOHOHAHSAH <3 GOD
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7475
AAAAAH I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!11! Thanks so much, Jo! :DDDDDDDD You've captured her expression and personality perfectly!!

But I wanna use it as my avataaaaaaar!!
Marrend
Guardian Ghost of the Description Thread
17371
DO IT ANYWAY, RED_NOVA! YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO!
unity
You're magical to me.
11051
author=Red_Nova
AAAAAH I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!11! Thanks so much, Jo! :DDDDDDDD You've captured her expression and personality perfectly!!

But I wanna use it as my avataaaaaaar!!


I have an idea! I'll use Jo's picture of Alicia as my avatar and you can use this one, Red! :D

Red_Nova
The all around prick
7475
HOORAY! This is so awesome!!! Thanks unity, thanks Jo!!!!!!!
JosephSeraph
奇跡なゲイパワー♡
6891
I'm glad you guys enjoy my art! Wahhhh this makes me so happy to see hahahahah
by the way i'm 10 minutes from submitting yet another pack ROFL (i found a few old graphics lying around dead and alone, so i gave them some polish and YAY NEW PACK)

by the way videooooo yay submitting as media :D :D :D
Woah. Picture.

... Wat is Purple Glowy Thing? ... Oh! That magic stuff that can be implanted... What's its name again...

So, is it a picture of an actual set of equips?

How much time dilation is in that video?
JosephSeraph
奇跡なゲイパワー♡
6891
author=Malandy
So, is it a picture of an actual set of equips?

Its fanart, but who knows if Nova will put the armor somewhere to be found in game LOL

author=Malandy
How much time dilation is in that video?


Enough for my daughter to be triple my age when I come back from the wormhole :C
(i wonder if someone will get the movie reference. Its obvious. Anyway i'm derailing the topic sorry)
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7475
author=JosephSeraph
author=Malandy
So, is it a picture of an actual set of equips?
Its fanart, but who knows if Nova will put the armor somewhere to be found in game LOL


Maaaaaaaaaybe?
Wait. How does Rage work again? Is it a Damage for Defense status? Or is it a Berserk status? Or something else?

Also, is there a moon in this 'verse? What's the solar system like?
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7475
Rage drops a character's Armor but boosts Strength. If one of your party members is inflicted with Rage, you COULD have Amalie use Calming Aura to cure it, or you could let it ride and use your boosted Strength to inflict more damage on an opponent at the risk of taking more damage yourself.

As for the moon and solar system: Well, they exist, but they're not really important to the story here. Besides, you wouldn't be able to see them anyway. The world is already covered by a pretty thick fog, so the characters can't even see a clear sky.

More info to put into NPCs in the game.
Finally got around to playing this! First, typos and other little things I noticed:


-Vanessa says "the King" in the opening scene. Titles such as "king" are only capitalized when they are used in place of or as part of a name. Similar logic should follow for fantasy species/creatures, but Tolkein muddied the waters there and everyone's followed suit since.
-Ferocity description: "Aeyr has always held a deep seated aggression..." Stacked adjectives always use a hyphen, so this should be "deep-seated".
-When Aeyr encounters the guy in the castle, the guy says "dear...old... Dad?" I'm pretty sure the "dear" should be capitalized, and the ellipses spacing should be made consistent.
-"The horror and disgust of killing a human had destroyed..." Seems like that should be "has"?
-Mia's scene in the common district: "...so grandmother can live happily..." 'Grandmother' should be capitalized.
-The description for Mail Breaker lacks a period.
-Servant at the inn: "Without it's Miasma burning powers..."
-In the library scene, Mia calls the book "Dark Lion's Roar?", with the question mark. That seems off.
-The leftmost NPC in the knowledge wing 2F quotes the last prophecy as "Fear the Revenant, the Vanguard of Ruin," -- pretty sure that last comma should be a period.


Running thoughts as I play through:

-Giving the opening scene the same music as the title screen is a nice touch. It always feels a little bit jarring when the title music cuts off, especially when it's this good.
-I like that the stat-up items explain exactly what the stats do. It's really nice to have that level of clarity and user-friendliness.
-Oh, you can change equipment mid-battle? That's really useful!
-The Unbroken effect is nicely creepy and unsettling. That's not something you usually think about in RPGs.
-A test that guarantees you kill a quarter of your applicants seems really wasteful, especially given that humanity seems to be dwindling here. How do they have the population and resources to throw away perfectly useful people like this? It doesn't even seem necessary as a "prove you can kill" thing, if they're just supposed to be fighting inhuman monsters.
-Oh wait, Aeyr's pointing that out! I like perceptive protagonists.
-I really love how much detail and characterization you're putting into the passive traits, and how some of them are negative.
-The introduction to text skipping was hilarious, if a bit fourth-wall-breaky.
-"The sealing of Purgatory, the Oracles losing their power of prophecy, and the emergence of the Fog all took place at the same time seventeen years ago." ...Interesting. So I guess that gives us a timeline in relation to Soul Sunder. It seems like Arya's powers should be really relevant to what's going on, but you say this one's self-contained so she must be off doing something else. Honestly that's probably for the best, Chosen Ones swooping in and saving everything usually make stories pretty boring!
-Ah nuts, I hoarded the stat boosters from the dream instead of using them and just realized I lost them forever. I typically wait until I get more party members so I can allocate stat boosters more fairly. It would probably be a good idea to add some hint that the items won't transfer into the real world, like Aeyr could say "the stuff I pick up here never becomes real" or something like that.

Well crap, now I have to restart to do that. Tomorrow, for the hour is late! But overall, I was really impressed by the opening. The game looks highly professional, and the SNES-style graphics set it apart from other VX games (which sometimes look a bit too sleek, especially when I've played a lot of them). I love how much stuff there is to explore and examine, too! The battle system looks more complicated than most RPG Maker games while still being pretty easy to understand. I like that SP affects defense; that adds an extra layer of consideration to blowing all of it on powerful skills. Seems like it might make disincentivize heavy armor too much, though -- the armor boost can be cancelled out by the stamina drop, but stamina is more useful since it's a skill pool.

Edit: Oh whoops, should I have posted this to the blog post?

Also, bug: if you interact with the Aeyr lookalike in the prologue castle from the south, the game hangs afterwards. Also also, soft resetting seems to give me that stack error bug.