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Permanent Price Cut!

Today is the 1 year anniversary of Prayer of the Faithless' launch. Thank you so much for all the support you've given the game over the past 8 years of development and post launch! The reviews and playthroughs of the game were heartwarming to see, and knowing that the story resonated with some people and got them thinking is more than I could have asked for as a developer.

While I plan to write up a more longform postmortem or self-analysis of the game and its development cycle, I'd like to express my gratitude in a more tangible form right now. So I'm announcing that Prayer of the Faithless has had a permanent price cut from $9.99 to $4.99. If you haven't played the game yet, this the perfect time to do so.

Once again, thank you so much for all the support the game has gotten over the years!



Misao of Commercial Excellence!

Ayo?! Looks like Prayer of the Faithless has won the Misao for Commercial Excellence!

A huge, HUGE thanks to everyone who voted for it in the poll! Seeing support for this game so long after release is truly heartwarming, and makes the long development journey more than worth it! I was thinking about making a more long form post talking a bit about the journey I keep whining about, but I think that's best saved for the anniversary post.

For now, as celebration for this award, PotF is 80% off for the next week! If you've just arrived here and want to give it a play, you can buy the game now or download the free demo right here!

Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1878350/Prayer_of_the_Faithless/

Itch.io: https://vermillionnova.itch.io/prayer-of-the-faithless

Again, a huge thanks for voting for PotF for the commercial excellence award, and congratulations to all winners of the other categories!


Prayer of the Faithless is Released

At long last. After a brutal 7 year roller coaster of development hell, Prayer of the Faithless is finally released to the public in full on Steam and Itch.io.

Buy here on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1878350/Prayer_of_the_Faithless/

Or on Itch.io: https://vermillionnova.itch.io/prayer-of-the-faithless

As I mentioned in the last blog, the full price for the game will be $9.99. However, this first week will have a 10% launch discount to show my appreciation for all the support you've given me all these years.

I've uploaded an updated demo here on RMN as well as itch and Steam. The Steam demo will come after a few days because I goofed and didn't see that Steam demos have their own vetting period. This new demo will be the same demo that has already been up (the prologue of the full game) but there are bug fixes and extra polish to this new one, such as updated guide entries explaining a few more mechanics. If you only played the previous demo, you can still transfer your save files into the full game and these new changes should (as far as my testing showed) still pick up.

I hope you enjoy the game. This story is a very personal one to me, and I'm happy to finally have it out there for people to see.

And now, after 7 long years, I can finally get some rest...



Release date: May 27th

I dunno about you, but I think it's time to finally put a bow on this 7 year development saga. So it's time to move on with the final stage of development: the release phase. With all that's left to do, I believe May 27th is an appropriate date for release.

You can find the game on Steam here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1878350/Prayer_of_the_Faithless/

and itch.io here: https://vermillionnova.itch.io/prayer-of-the-faithless

If you could wishlist it on Steam, follow on itch.io, and/or share it with your friends if this game interests you, I'd be incredibly grateful.

The actual development work on the game is 99% finished, barring a few minor polishes that will matter to no one but myself. This month long gap between now and release date is for me to knock out that minor polish, focus more on marketing, and give me time to fight off anxiety and mentally prepare myself get the old demo up to snuff and distributing it to Steam/Itch.

As for the price, I decided to go for $10 as the asking price. The only experience I have with selling games commercially is Remnants of Isolation, which ran for the same price at launch. Of course, I don't want to attribute a game's value solely to its length, but I do know that the biggest criticism of RoI was the relatively short length for the asking price. I happen to agree, and so I settled on the same launch price as RoI with the understanding that there is a lot more content here with PotF to justify it.

In case anyone was wondering, completion times I've taken from tester's save files range from 12-14 hours. And if you want to get all 4 endings, that's 4 different playthroughs of the game. So yeah, I think you'll get your money's worth here.

Anyway, if you have any questions, please let me know. Otherwise, thanks so much for supporting this game now and over all these years of development. It means the world to me.


Prayer of the Faithless Steam Page

Check out the store page here!

I spent a good hour hovering over the Publish button because I wasn't sure if I had everything set up the way I wanted. After checking and rechecking everything at least a million times, I think I'm good to go. So, here we are!

Of course, this is just the Steam page. The game isn't quite ready for release yet. But at the rate I'm going, I'm confident in a Spring 2022 release window. Once I've ironed out a more concrete date, I'll update you guys here and on the Steam page.

Anyway, more relevant info will come in a future update. For now, the page is live! If you could wishlist it if you're interested in picking it up, I'd be very grateful. As always, thanks so much for sticking around during this whole development cycle. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.


Game's Done, BTW. Who Wants to Test?

So I just finished testing the last route of the game, and as the credits rolled, I checked my task list and saw that there weren't any other major tasks left before sending it off to testers. So, uh, I guess that means all the major features are done and the full game is ready for testers. Um... surprise?

So who wants to test? I've got a few minor debug events and such to clean up, so it'll probably be ready in about a week. Based on previous tester data, I imagine it'd take about 15-20 hours to complete. If anyone is interested, please leave a comment here or in a PM. Thanks!


Demo is Live!

After all these years of running my mouth about the game, I finally have something to show for it! The PotF prologue demo is now live: You can pick it up here or via the download link above.

A few things to note:

- You do not need RPGMaker VX Ace RTP to run this game. Just download, extract, and play!

- This demo is the prologue of PotF, but you can transfer your save files to the full game once it is released. Because of this, I have to make sure I'm still able to tweak the character's learnable skills without screwing up your save file progression. As such, I have placed a level cap on the characters so you can't power level them while I work on the rest of the game. The cap is different for each character, but it is right before the level that they would learn their first Burst Drive that was intended to be used after the prologue. When the full game is released, this level cap will be reverted to its normal value even during the prologue. With the EXP decay mechanic in place, I think the chances of you actually reaching this cap are pretty slim unless you're trying to hit it, but I wanted to be absolutely sure.

Aside from that, I hope you enjoy the prologue! Please don't hesitate to share your thoughts with me. I welcome all feedback, positive or negative.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go take a short nap...


Progress Report

I'm Ending 2020 on a High Note and You Can't Stop Me (Demo Incoming)

As development wraps up for Prayer of the Faithless, it's about time to start making the game more public. Therefore, this month will see the final demo for the game released. I've asked a few people in private to give it a runthrough just to make sure everything is working, but I want to go back to the good old days where I'd talk about this game almost constantly, and I think getting you all directly involved with a public demo is the best way to do that.

I don't know WHEN exactly it'll happen, but the demo will be out this month for sure. Then I'll take the rest of the year off of development to recharge my batteries so I can go into 2021 in full rampage mode to get this thing done. Maybe get some sleep for the first time since the pandemic hit? Sleep sounds nice.

So yeah. I know this is on the short side of a year-end blog, but I think the demo will do a better job wrapping up 2020 than a wall of text ever could. Thanks, as always, for sticking around!

Progress Report

Game Mode: Nova Must Die

Remember when I posted monthly updates on this game? Those were the days, huh?

Like many others, development slowed down when the pandemic hit back in February, but I also had the added weight of changing jobs and relocating to a place that almost immediately became the hottest hot spot for coronavirus in the entire state (which is in the top 5 for cases in the whole US). This is normally the kind of timing for a low budget dark sitcom, but here I am, trying to maintain my sanity while keeping myself from dying whenever I go out to get food.

Which, y'know, is a REALLY GREAT place to be in during the exhausting, soul-draining phase of polishing and testing a game about trying to maintain humanity at the end of the world.

But enough about me. Let's talk about PotF. Even though I haven't posted any updates about the game for a long time, that doesn't mean development stopped! I snuck in a few hours here and there whenever I could find the energy, but I had to adjust my approach thanks to the aforementioned events.

Remember back in December when I said I'd go through a final death march, fixing only the problems that would take less than a day's work to fix? Well, that's still kinda happening, but I didn't anticipate the sheer amount of items that needed fixing, so I was quickly overwhelmed about halfway through the death march. In order to keep my brain from frying while still making visible progress, I broke the death march down into two endeavors: A technical death march and an artistic death march.

The technical death march was where I would focus only on the gameplay side of PotF, including adjusting parameters, equipment and item stats and placement, ability, and enemy balance. This playthrough has been completed, and so the gameplay side of PotF is more or less locked down barring final tuning based on tester feedback. This is also why I haven't been posting screenshots lately. Pictures of code changes me slowly losing my soul debugging skill problems isn't exactly appealing to see.

The artistic playthrough is where I'll be focusing on anything and everything that doesn't have to do with gameplay. So writing, art, audio, etc. While there is still a lot of work to do here, it won't be as mind-numbing as before, so I anticipate I can burn through these tasks a bit quicker. I'll even be able to post some screens of finalized areas now! Isn't that great?

Anyway, I'll try to be more active from here one. I appreciate the patience, everyone!

Game Design

A Thousand Ways to Die

Since Prayer of the Faithless has a more free-form battle system that allows you to distribute turns among your party, special care needed to be taken to ensure that no one single action overshadows the others. As I progress through the death march, I do the best I can to observe how I act as a player and catch certain behaviors that I don't want to encourage. For example, if I notice that I'm mashing attack for more than three consecutive rounds, then I make the necessary changes to encourage more variety of actions during a player's turn without requiring me to go back to the very beginning and test all over again.

A behavior I caught myself doing early on was, upon equipping a magical relic, I would almost exclusively use magic attacks for quick and easy victories. Because magic attacks ignore SP damage reduction and enemy Psyche stat was usually lower than Armor, that was always the ticket to doing big damage with little cost. I had thought that the massive SP cost was enough to discourage overuse of magic attacks, but apparently I was wrong. In a battle system that offers many solutions to the enemy problem, having one solution greatly overpower all others detracted from the idea of free form fighting.

Thankfully, though, the solution turned out to be a very quick and easy change: magic attacks will also be affected by enemy SP reduction. So, just like physical attacks, damage from a magical attack will be reduced by up to half the higher the target's stamina.

All it takes is a quick glance at the examine screen to see which defensive stat is lower, and you'll know whether to attack with physical or magical attacks

Sometimes, enemies will have the exact same Psyche and Armor stat. When fighting enemies like this, you are free to employ whatever measures you want to take them out.

Not only did this mean I was using every party member's skills more evenly, but there was also the extra bonus of making defensive options a bit more fair. For those that are not aware, you have some degree of control over which of your party members will be targeted by enemy attacks: Enemies are more likely to target the party member with the highest SP. If one of your allies is low on health and you have few healing items, then have that party member act enough times to reduce their SP, and enemies will likely target someone else.

It's not an absolute guarantee, and this tactic doesn't hold up if the enemy uses AOE attacks, but learning to control aggro is an important skill to learn in a game with limited health supplies.

In this example, Trill will take most of the hits during the enemy's turn. Since her Skill stat is higher than Aeyr's and Luke's, attacks are more likely to graze her and inflict minimal damage. Of course, Aeyr has more Armor and HP, so maybe he'll be a better choice depending on the situation.

And that's all I have this month. Death march is coming along slowly because of real life, but I try to put in a little bit each day. As always, thanks so much for sticking with me throughout all these years of development!