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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.

Latest Blog

Thoughts on Game Endings

I've never exactly kept it a secret that Prayer of the Faithless was set just before the inevitable end of the world. Because of that, I knew that handling the multiple ways the story can conclude was going to be an uphill battle from the very beginning. After all, how else can you end a story with such a definitive finale already ingrained into its core premise? Last week, when I released chapter 4 to testers and began polishing the endgame, I found myself thinking about this a lot more.




Fair warning: While I'm obviously not going to mention anything specific about the CONTENTS of PotF's endings, I will be talking a little about my approach to designing endings, using references that COULD be taken as indirect spoilers. If you wish to go into PotF completely blind, this is not the blog for you. Turn back now.

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.....You still here? Okay, then.


First of all, I'd like to make a very clear distinction on what PotF actually is and, more importantly, what it is NOT. Prayer of the Faithless is not a story ABOUT the end of the world; it is a character-driven story that INVOLVES the end of the world. If the game really was ABOUT the end of the world, then I likely would have been done in a single month. Because the focus is on the people in the world rather than the world itself, that opens up more possible directions to take the story.

But, no matter how many options there are, the story has to end somehow. And that is where my struggles currently lie.


When designing the endings for PotF, I fell back on a few rules I try to adhere to for character-driven game stories:

1: Every ending is canon
You may be familiar with the concepts of the "bad," "normal," and "true" endings in a game. The idea that not completing certain objectives could lead to an unsatisfying ending or that fulfilling certain objectives would lead to the complete, canon ending. I totally understand the intent behind designing endings this way, and I don't begrudge their inclusion.

However, they do not exist in Prayer of the Faithless. There is no one "true" ending, nor is there an ending that punishes players if they missed a vital component earlier in the game. However the characters decide to complete their objectives, each ending should be just as conclusive and fulfilling as each other.


2: Ending titles
Anyone ever play Silent Hill 2? I could probably devote an entire blog post discussing why I adore the way it handles endings. For the purposes of this blog, though, I just want to bring up the names of each main ending: Leave, Maria, and In Water. For those who haven't played Silent Hill 2 (and if you have, pretend you haven't for a second), can you at least attempt an explanation as to what each ending could possibly mean? I doubt you would be able to do so. But what if I renamed the three endings to "Guilt," "Acceptance," and "Selfish?" Do you think you have a better grasp of what each ending represents now?

On the surface, it may look like a simple name change. However, I like to think that the names are vague to allow for the inclusion of multiple meanings/spins on the central theme. PotF's endings will function the same way. Each ending should encompass the central theme of what it's going for without being so specific that it runs the risk of diluting each individual experience and interpretation of the game. Plus, there's the benefit of being able to mention the endings without spoiling anyone still going through the game!


3: Scrap the End-O-Tron 3000



One of the most infuriating ways I've seen games determine endings is, right before the end credits, presenting players with a choice of what kind of ending they want. Players pick an option, see the ending, and that's it. Done.

I can kinda see that working in, say, a game without a predefined main character like Elder Scrolls, since a blank slate character with no predefined personality would benefit from having options to let players roleplay as to what they would want. However, more often than not it looks to me like a time/budget constraint. If that's the case, then fair enough, but as a deliberate design choice, it just screams "cop-out" to me. So this method of determining endings will not be present in PotF.

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That's about all I can really talk about without delving into the contents of the PotF's endings themselves, so I'm going to end the blog here. What I want to really get across here is that writing these endings involve a LOT of references, cross-checking, and questioning as many "what if they..." scenarios as I can to make sure that each ending gets the time and respect it deserves. This is extremely exhausting for both my time and sanity, and at some point I'll have to step back and say "that's enough." Otherwise, this game will never be completed.

If players don't want to try for the other endings, then I want to send them off on a high note. For a game involving the end of the world, that's... a real challenge, to say the least.

Posts

Red_Nova
The all around prick
7478
I have always worried that the need to add a hints and tips page meant that I failed as a designer to give players adequate instructions on how to play the game in the game itself. As such, I've been trying to come up with more broad tips, such as encouraging save rotation and experiment with different move combinations, rather than specific points on the game itself. It's been difficult to come up with tips, seeing as I am in no position to judge how well I communicated the mechanics effectively.

As such, any suggestions on what you would want to see on the Hints tab would be very welcome!

Then again, it took me way too long to provide a simple tutorial about how to jump across gaps, so maybe I'm just worrying too much? Hm...
I just finished playing through the prologue, and I'm really eager to see where the rest of the game goes from here.

I encountered a bug in my playthrough which didn't impede my progress, but occurred consistently when I re-tested the conditions that led to it, and could theoretically trap a player with an unwinnable save file. After Aeyr and Amalie return from their expedition and Amalie leaves the party, Aeyre can leave the city by himself. However, when he tries to re-enter, the screen doesn't load properly; the screen is black and static, and while it's possible to access the status menu, no other inputs outside it have any effect, so I was forced to reset whenever I reached this point. If the player for some reason saved their game in the forest at this point, it would be impossible to progress on that file.

Since there's no incentive in story terms to let the player go wandering off out of the city at this point, the problem could be resolved simply by adding a message that blocks Aeyr from leaving the city and walking back into the oncoming fog like a dumbass (which I mainly only tried in the first place just to see if the game would let me.)
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7478
I'm so happy you liked it! Thanks for giving it a shot!

I appreciate the bug report. It's pretty alarming how it forces a reset, but you're right in that it's just a simple fix. I'll make sure to address that in the next update.

Thanks again!
author=argh
How are they maintaining that if the world's going to crap, though? Raising someone to adulthood is a huge resource investment, and it sounds like they don't have a lot of resources if parts of the continent are becoming uninhabitable. And if the knights die in battle a lot too... eventually the population will be worn down to nothing. Is a 10% stat boost really worth a 25% reduction in your able-bodied adults every year? It just seems like there are more economical ways of doing that -- modern militaries make soldiers kill dogs, which is also effective. (It also just doesn't make sense to me that people would hold back against inhuman monsters -- in real life, that hesitance is because we really don't like killing other humans in specific. But if there aren't many human enemies I suppose there's no other way to convey it...)

Going back a ways to participate in this discussion-

I agree that this seems like a poor decision tactics-wise. But I thought it still seemed fairly believable working from the assumption that the institution predates the whole issue with the miasma. If the knights have worked that way for a long time, then to change the tradition in order to conserve manpower would essentially mean doing away with the institution of the knights, or at least with the prospect of replenishing their ranks, at a time when the people's morale may particularly depend on them. It would be a bad idea to create such a tradition in conditions like these, but when it already exists and people are invested in it, it doesn't seem as strange that they would keep it.

It does seem somewhat more surprising to me that Mia would have enlisted in the first place for the sake of money, knowing that becoming a knight would inevitably mean taking another person's life, and for no especially just cause. It's hard for me to see her ever sitting down and deciding that the money was worth someone else dying for.
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7478
author=Desertopa
I agree that this seems like a poor decision tactics-wise. But I thought it still seemed fairly believable working from the assumption that the institution predates the whole issue with the miasma. If the knights have worked that way for a long time, then to change the tradition in order to conserve manpower would essentially mean doing away with the institution of the knights, or at least with the prospect of replenishing their ranks, at a time when the people's morale may particularly depend on them. It would be a bad idea to create such a tradition in conditions like these, but when it already exists and people are invested in it, it doesn't seem as strange that they would keep it.


The Proving was a system created by Vanessa when she came into power as the Commandant, as Aeyr's talk with Mia indicates. Exactly when she took office, though, wasn't explained. I'll flesh that out a bit more in the game.

It does seem somewhat more surprising to me that Mia would have enlisted in the first place for the sake of money, knowing that becoming a knight would inevitably mean taking another person's life, and for no especially just cause. It's hard for me to see her ever sitting down and deciding that the money was worth someone else dying for.


Money wasn't the sole reason for Mia to join the knights. Aeyr was a strong motivator, and it could be assumed based on her kind personality that she wanted to help defend Asala and Honelleth as a trained fighter. I could probably bring that last part out more in the next update. Thanks for pointing it out!

As for the dying issue, Mia mistakenly thought she could stomach it. As long as the fight to the death wasn't with Aeyr, she felt, she could force herself through the Proving and live as a knight. After the Proving, she realized her error in judgment and decided that a life of a knight wasn't one she could sustain.

author=Red_Nova
The Proving was a system created by Vanessa when she came into power as the Commandant, as Aeyr's talk with Mia indicates. Exactly when she took office, though, wasn't explained. I'll flesh that out a bit more in the game.


You know, I don't remember that bit from my playthrough. In that context, it does seem somewhat harder to believe that the trainees would swallow having to kill their fellows if their seniors in the knights never had to do that.

Money wasn't the sole reason for Mia to join the knights. Aeyr was a strong motivator, and it could be assumed based on her kind personality that she wanted to help defend Asala and Honelleth as a trained fighter. I could probably bring that last part out more in the next update. Thanks for pointing it out!

As for the dying issue, Mia mistakenly thought she could stomach it. As long as the fight to the death wasn't with Aeyr, she felt, she could force herself through the Proving and live as a knight. After the Proving, she realized her error in judgment and decided that a life of a knight wasn't one she could sustain.


As I understood the timeline from Aeyr and Mia's talks, I didn't think they met until Mia became a trainee.

Red_Nova
The all around prick
7478
author=Desertopa
author=Red_Nova
The Proving was a system created by Vanessa when she came into power as the Commandant, as Aeyr's talk with Mia indicates. Exactly when she took office, though, wasn't explained. I'll flesh that out a bit more in the game.
You know, I don't remember that bit from my playthrough. In that context, it does seem somewhat harder to believe that the trainees would swallow having to kill their fellows if their seniors in the knights never had to do that.


Plenty of knights had to go through the Proving before the game starts. People who have made it up to the rank of Paladin (such as Vance) attest to that. Whether it's right or wrong is an issue meant for players to have mixed feelings on. Just as Aeyr questions the logic behind it, so does the player. Apparently, going by the general feedback on the issue, that isn't enough. I'll flesh out the Proving's history and backstory a bit more.

Money wasn't the sole reason for Mia to join the knights. Aeyr was a strong motivator, and it could be assumed based on her kind personality that she wanted to help defend Asala and Honelleth as a trained fighter. I could probably bring that last part out more in the next update. Thanks for pointing it out!

As for the dying issue, Mia mistakenly thought she could stomach it. As long as the fight to the death wasn't with Aeyr, she felt, she could force herself through the Proving and live as a knight. After the Proving, she realized her error in judgment and decided that a life of a knight wasn't one she could sustain.


As I understood the timeline from Aeyr and Mia's talks, I didn't think they met until Mia became a trainee.



Ah, yep. Something got lost in translation between my notes and the in-game text. Not sure how I missed this until now, but it looks like there's a few wrinkles that still need ironing out. Thanks for catching that!
author=Red_Nova
Plenty of knights had to go through the Proving before the game starts. People who have made it up to the rank of Paladin (such as Vance) attest to that. Whether it's right or wrong is an issue meant for players to have mixed feelings on. Just as Aeyr questions the logic behind it, so does the player. Apparently, going by the general feedback on the issue, that isn't enough. I'll flesh out the Proving's history and backstory a bit more.


What I meant was, at some point in the not-so-distant past, there had to be a point where the first class of knights had to fight to the death with their training partners, knowing that none of their seniors had to, and that would probably have been a really hard sell.

I find it believable that a fighting order might apply an entrance qualification that strict, especially one that's intended to command a high level of prestige; plenty of real-life military organizations have had comparably brutal initiation requirements. But I feel like it would be a major morale risk for new initiates to take orders to kill their former training partners in combat from commanding officers who didn't have to do that themselves.

I like the depiction of the tradeoff though, between the knights' ruthless efficiency and their ability to command trust and loyalty in the populace.
Marrend
Guardian Angel of the Description Thread
17370
This revelation that Vanessa started the Proving is... interesting. I certainly don't remember anybody saying anything about when the Proving started, and probably assumed it's been going on since the order was founded.
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7478
Thanks for the explanation, Desertopa. I've made some notes and will see to addressing them in game. The game could use more NPCs anyway.

author=Marrend
This revelation that Vanessa started the Proving is... interesting. I certainly don't remember anybody saying anything about when the Proving started, and probably assumed it's been going on since the order was founded.


When first meeting Mia in Asala, Aeyr expresses his distaste by saying, "What the hell is the Commandant thinking?"

I thought that line, at the very least, made it clear enough that the player should lay the blame for the Proving at Vanessa's feet.
author=Red_Nova
When first meeting Mia in Asala, Aeyr expresses his distaste by saying, "What the hell is the Commandant thinking?"

I thought that line, at the very least, made it clear enough that the player should lay the blame for the Proving at Vanessa's feet.

Well, it could mean anything. Like "What is she thinking, given that we have a Knight shortage, keeping the battles to the death and reducing the Knight pool further" I need further context to refresh my memory and see what I interpreted... (I'm gonna find a Let's Play... ... There is none?)

But it seems that the Proving is too accepted to seem like fights to the death as part of becoming a Knight is anything new?
Just like Soul Sunder, starts off kinda slow. BUT... as soon as you fight the (spoiler redacted) SHIT GETS REAL!

I have the first episode of my recording session up now! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQczlUkFauc&ab_channel=Grub

Which....kinda solves what Malandy just said? XD

One thing i would note is that I feel like Unbroken should only apply the stat penalty when you're fighting humanoids even if the xp penalty stays.... :/
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7478
W-woah, a Let's Play already? Thanks so much!

Can I ask why you feel the way you do about Unbroken? It's a general debuff meant to reflect anyone's hesitation when attacking with lethal intent. Humanoid or no, facing off against anyone wanting to kill you would be a scary experience, so I don't think having that hesitation reflected via all those debuffs is that far-fetched.
Like i said, when fighting humanoids the stat debuff makes sense. But i feel kinda like it makes sense for there to be a partial disconnect after killing non-humanoid enemies?

Oh, and sadly the rest of what i recorded today lacks mike audio. I plan to tape over the traitorous mute button. It has ruined my recordings for the last time! Still uploading it, expect 1 hour 20 on the 8th and another 40 on the 10th.

....I really lost track of time playing this.

.... Also, apparently brackets hide things.

BTW, you might want to reconsider the 4 hornet formation, or reduce their drop rate. 2 lightning slashes are enough to kill them once Mia's broken, and I assume you don't want cash to be too plentiful?
Can't you edit in your commentary afterwards? Post commentary is fairly common in Let's Plays after all.
author=Crystalgate
Can't you edit in your commentary afterwards? Post commentary is fairly common in Let's Plays after all.


I just....don't do that. :/ it doesn't seem quite right to me. You can't be surprised in post or anything like that.....

Anyhow! Part 2 is up! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y07RbDLKQp0&ab_channel=Grub
That's right, I didn't keep in mind that you're doing a blind let's play.
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7478
Thanks for the LP! I'm kinda sad that I couldn't hear your running thoughts, but there was a lot I learned from watching you play.
Yes, I would have loved to hear the story behind your hatred towards the provoke skill. Joke aside, that skill is one of the most useful, if not the most useful, in this game. You're making the game much harder by not using it.
Eh, i guess it would have been handy when I had Mai, but i just didn't think of it. Action economy is key; if you can kill 1 enemy with 1 action rather than redirect 2 enemy's aggression with that action, i consider it better spent.

I'll go ahead and tell you that when I met ol' Bat-Wings for the second time, I flipped my shit. Then I flipped it again when the actual kill took place.