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Announcement

First Taste of the OST!!

This has been quite a year for PotF, hasn't it? I won't bore you with a lengthy reflection of what happened this year partly because it'd mostly be a self-indulgent ramble that I'm sure you don't want to listen to. Besides, I want to get right into the most exciting part of this blog: You can finally list to some of Prayer of the Faithless' original soundtrack!

This has been a long time coming, but I'd like finally officially welcome Eric Ramos to the PotF team! He'll be composing music for the game, and has been great to work with. He's done professional work in the past and is learning from pros in the video game industry, so the man knows his stuff!

We started off with settling on themes for the party members. Being a highly character-driven game, themes for the cast were a golden opportunity to reflect their personalities musically in addition visuals and dialogue. Take a moment to listen to the themes of Aeyr, Mia, and Amalie:





I'm really, really excited at how well these themes reflect their personalities. I love placing emphasis on characters in games, and having themes for each party member will accent their personalities and leave a much stronger impact on players than they would otherwise. I can't wait to release the next demo where all of these will be in the game!

Go follow Eric on Twitter and check out his Soundcloud for some examples of his past work.

As for general progress, Mia 1 is about 60% done. The levels have been laid out, the cutscenes have been written and just need editing, and the enemies have been designed. There's still a lot left to do, but I'm expecting to be finished with Mia 1 sometime this month. Then, it's one last round of polish for the whole game, then the next demo will be released! I don't have a date on when that will be, unfortunately, as there are a few things I want to add, but I'll let you all know when a date has been settled on!

Thanks for sticking with the game for so long! Looking forward to continue working on it in the coming year!

Progress Report

Chapter 1 Progress and Companion Talk

...I'M DOING WORK I SWEAR!

Sorry for being so late with the update, but the past month has been pretty hectic for me. I mean, it still is, but you deserve to know what's going on. So here I am. Good news, though: me being so quiet on the game's progress means that I've been putting my nose to the grindstone, and quite a bit has been done! I've spent so long tweaking and polishing the prologue that creating all new content is a feeling I had started to forget about.

"Nova, it's been two months, and you said you'd update once or twice a month. This update had better be worth the wait!"

Well, it has. You may be happy to know that Aeyr chapter 1 is pretty much done! The maps have been laid out, the cutscenes have been written, and the enemies and items have all been added. It's still too early to celebrate since I've still got a lot of polish left to add, particularly in the cutscenes and dialogue, but you can play the game all the way to the end of Aeyr 1. Yay!



Who could this mysterious stranger be?

On the battle system side of things, more and more fixes and changes were made. The biggest one that's been a thorn in my side for a long time was an A.I. issue for enemies with multiple actions. Say a boss has three actions for turn and say the A.I. selects three magic spells for that turn. Magic costs about 40% SP each, so it would be impossible to cast all three spells in that one turn. What RM does by default is, if a skill is invalid, that action is just dropped from the queue and the enemy will just do two actions that turn. With my fix, if such a situation ever happens again, the enemy will instead default to a basic attack for that action. If there's not enough SP for even a basic attack, the foe will then Focus and regain 50% SP instead. This is to ensure that all 3 actions will be used in some manner when they attack.

So yeah. Bosses are gonna be harder now. Lucky you.

I've also modified the EXP decay formula to be more relevant when you gain a level. Originally, it was just the character's level divided by the troop average level. The only change I made was squaring both the character's and the troop levels before dividing them. It creates a rather abrupt dropoff, but one that I feel helps make players aware that they are getting too high a level.

A lot of time was spent tweaking the abilities of Aeyr's companions. The intention is that each party member offers a personalized twist on the established battle mechanics to feel like unique characters that play differently from one another. Trill's Miasma Charge, for example:


A fight near the end of Aeyr 1. unity did such a good job on these monsters!

Trill, being a Manna, is capable of using Miasma Charge just like the monsters can and gain the exact same benefits. However, what was once limited to her Trance tree is now it's own command in battle. The change was made because, in the case of Trill receiving a Head Injury, she would be unable to clear the ailment using Miasma Charge. As such, the command was no longer classified as a Trance skill and is its own thing. This goes for enemies as well, since before, inflicting a Head Injury would have been enough to prevent them from ever using Miasma Charge. Now, if Trill is hampered with a bunch of ailments, she can power up and clear them all out!

A side benefit of this relocation is that Trill's move list will now look more whole. Being a Manna, and full of Miasma, she is prone to corrupting any magical relics she touches. As such, Trill will be unable to equip magic Relics. She can still equip extra armor like the manuals you may have found during the Prologue (and if you didn't, well... surprise!), but Relics like the Blazing Heart will be permanently unavailable to her.

As for Luke, well, he's gained a new set of tools. And I mean that literally.

It always bothered me that Luke never had any equippable Offhand items (renamed to Personal because it was more fitting). Since Luke's skills lie everywhere but physical combat, Personal items felt unnecessary. Call me OCD, but him being the only character that would always have a big fat EMPTY next to the Personal item just felt wrong. However, further testing revealed that Luke's magic alone just wasn't making him useful enough in a scrap (which is a hell of a thing to say considering how strong magic attacks are). Luke was instead being designated as the guy who uses items. Once I hit that realization, the idea to give Luke abilities that make better use of items! And thus Luke's side packs were born:



Luke can equip various side packs that make use of attack, healing, and even loot you find in the field. These abilities don't really do any more damage, but their intent was to take an item's effect and spread it out to affect the entire party or troop. For example, Luke's Dagger Storm uses three Throwing Knives to hit every enemy. And since these moves cost items and not SP, Luke will have a few more options after casting a spells.

Does this make Luke OP? Not really. Remember you can only carry 10 of each item type, so spamming these moves will empty your pockets really fast. Plus, it may not be efficient depending on the situation. Using 3 Throwing Knives when there are only two enemies isn't a good idea, and neither is using 3 First Aid Kits when one party member is at full health. I've run though Chapter 1, and there was no situation I could find where such an ability can be abused. So it looks like Luke's side packs are here to stay!

Next step is to get started on Mia chapter 1. Looking forward to showing off the last of the party members!

I'm sorry about the silence! Thanks for checking in!

Announcement

Prologue Updated with LOTS of Changes!

After lots of very helpful feedback from you, I'm happy to announce the new prologue for Prayer of the Faithless is here! A huge, HUGE thanks to everyone that has commented on the game for all your wonderful feedback and critique!

Here is the list of changes made. Some you may have seen, but there are quite a few new ones I haven't talked about yet:

Story/dialogue changes:

- Extended scene when Aeyr becomes a Revenant
- New skit with Aeyr and Mia in Asala
- New NPCs added in Asala and Honelleth
- Edited scene teaching players about Burst Drives to reflect the altered mechanics for Mia
- Amalie's line about women and age has been replaced to be more appropriate for her and the setting

Battle System Changes:

- Drives now cost a smaller flat rate plus a % of battler max SP instead of a large, unchanging number
- Enemies now regain 20% max SP each turn just like allies do
- EXP Decay added
- Equipment now changes a % of character's base stats, not a hard number
- One armor slot has been removed from a character's equipment options
- Guard Break is now its own element and all SP damaging Drives have their element changed to it.
- Miasma Charge now regenerates 7% HP each turn instead of 10%
- Miasma Charge now clears caster of all physical ailments (Arm Injury, bleed, etc.)
- Critical state now lasts for only one turn
- New emotional ailments: Panic and Joy. Panic boosts Strength and Technique by 20% but disables SP regen per turn, and Joy boosts Strength, Technique, Armor, and Psyche by 120%
- Love of Lonesome state has been replaced with Joy
- Icons of all non-magic/ailment Drives changed to show their status as either Strength or Technique to help players see what enemies are doing to them at a glance
- Light, medium, and heavy armor's SP penalty changed to 15%, 20%, and 25%, respectively
- Added 20 to minimum HP for all allies
- Boosted HP and SP growth rate per level up for all allies
- The Unbroken passive now inflicts 10% penalties on all stats and cuts EXP gain by 90%
- Injury Kits now heal ALL physical ailments
- Knight Sword now has a new Drive: Pommel Strike


Field Gameplay Changes:

- Guide feature has been added
- Firebombs removed from Twisted Palace to force players to work with and learn the SP mechanics
- Aeyr can now select a weapon to get after completing the Proving, ensuring he will have more Drive options throughout his prologue
- Mage Knight starter pack removed
- Short Katana's location has been replaced with 4 Acid Flasks
- Fencing and Medic Manuals are now classed as Relics instead of Armor
- New enemy type placed in Mia's story that neither chase players not back up when ran from. You must defeat them in order to proceed
- Save point placed just before finding Parker in Lakreshin Valley
- The Quartermaster no longer gives you Throwing Knives during the battle in Asala
- Removed Firebomb location in Brecellian Darkwood zone 3


Character-specific Changes:

- Aeyr's Technique stat boosted
- Sonic Fist power reduced to 80%
- Aeyr can now change his primary weapon when Armatized with Soulfire
- Soulfire Cannon's power has been boosted to 120%
- Soulfire Restoration's name shortened to Soulfire Mend for formatting purposes. Effects of ability unchanged.
- Armatizing no longer costs SP

- Mia's Saboteur and Rush Drives have been combined and are now classed as basic Drives
- Mia no longer has Sabotuer and Rush Drive trees. Instead, she now has a singular Burst Drive tree: Bladelord.
- Mia's Lightning Moment and Sheathe have now been classed as Mia's Bladelord Drives
- Mia's Lightning Moment name shortened to Lightning Draw for formatting purposes
- Mia's Basic attack in Saboteur Stance now always has a 50% chance of Staggering a target
- Mia's Metal Scabbard no longer has a 50% Stagger rate for basic attacks
- Mia's Lightning Draw is now classed as a physical attack instead of a Certain Hit. This makes it susceptible to counterattack and potentially miss foes as well
- Mia's Lightning Draw can no longer inflict Critical hits
- Mia's Fear of Blades has been changed to Dread of Blades. Dread of Blades no longer disables Focus, instead inflicts Mia with Panic each turn that she is in Rush stance. Name change was necessary to avoid any false comparisons to the ailment Fear
- Mia's Rushdown passive has been removed, so she no longer gains a 20% innate boost to Strength and Technique when switching to Rush stance. That's what Panic is now for. The difference should not be noticible
- Mia's Crescent Kick power boosted to 110%
- Mia's Slim Edge now has the Cannon Thrust Drive and no longer penalizes Psyche
- Mia gets a new passive ability at the end of her prologue: Guiding Light, which gives her the Joy state when party HP levels are at a certain average threshold. Effects not seen in-game
- Mia's Sheathe now clears all emotional ailments and regains 25% SP


- Amalie's Stinger has been replaced with a new weapon: Fer Volant, with new parameters and Drives
- Amalie's Paladin's Sabre has been replaced with a new weapon: Lord's Sabre, with new parameters and Drives
- Amalie's Serene Grace passive now resists Stagger 75% of the time rather than 25%
- Amalie's Calming Aura now removes all emotional ailments, not just Rage and Fear (additional emotional ailments to be added) and target changed from all allies to one ally and caster
- Amalie's Piercing Light is now a common Magic instead of a Burst Drive. Remember, Amalie cannot use magic by herself
- Amalie now starts with a unique Relic: Amalie's Locket. This Relic gives her the Piercing Light spell and boosts all emotional ailment resistances

Enemy-specific Changes:

- Butch now attacks with the Strike element
- Cyrilla now uses Shield Bash at start of battle
- Lowered Holy resistance on many enemies
- Manna enemies now have Trance powers
- Boosted general stats of most enemies
- Unicorn no longer has a second action
- Unicorn's now resists Slash and is weak to Strike
- Roach is now weak to Slash and resistant to Strike
- Duelist now has Greva Deux instead of Heavenfall
- Vance now has Vagrant's Speed, Pommel Strike, and Crushing Blow
- Vance's Strength boosted
- Knight now has Counter Stance
- Knight's Strength boosted
- Junsunia 1's Tech boosted and now has Fire Crash and Fury Possession
- Archer's natural evasion rate has been removed

Technical changes/bug fixes:

- Fullscreen++ has been allowed into the club
- Database told to clean its personal space and get its life together
- Save file scene invited some more friends, now adding up to 50
- Turn icons given new look to stand out on battle screen better
- Characters no longer strip naked when climbing a ledge
- Equipment and abilities commands have been swapped in the menu for ease of access
- Invisible titans block you from leaving Asala after returning from Honelleth
- Murdered Amalie's clone in Honelleth. There can be only one!!!
- Gave Mia a new haircut
- Font size beaten down a peg
- Shop and Equip menu layout fixed
- Aeyr can no longer cower back into the palace after the rescue mission has begun
- Basic button prompts added when taking control of Aeyr
- Icons added to tutorial Knights to better explain themselves
- Aeyr now guards his secret space from anyone as long as they are in the party.
- Burst Drives now have a Hidden property to them so they will not appear when no one wants them
- Aeyr now uses a series of bright rocks to climb to and from his hiding place rather than rope
- Aeyr remembers he is now a world-ending force of nature and can use Soulfire Drain after losing a battle while Armatized
- Event window smacked awake and now clears just after completely fading out
- Mia's Lightning Draw animation edited
- Mia's Sheathe now comes with sound effects!

... Other than that. Nothing much has changed.

Just as a reminder: Due to the database overhaul, your save files will not transfer over to this new build. I apologize for the inconvenience, but in order to ensure the items, equipment, and skills stay organized, this was the only way.

I appreciate any and all forms of feedback! It's thanks to you that this game could turn out the way it did, and I hope to continue polishing it even further with your help!

*dies*

Progress Report

Progress and the Future

The amount of work done on PotF, both in and out of the engine itself, is huge. The next chapter has made significant leaps in progress, and the gameplay itself has changed and improved even more since the last blog. I'll go more in depth with more changes in future blogs, but suffice to say my version changes log is getting really, really long. I often post micro updates on Twitter, so feel free to stalk me there if it interests you. The whole point of becoming a developer was so I could get stalked. That's... how the saying goes, right? Yeah, I'm sure that's right.

Progress:
Aeyr chapter 1 is about 50% done. All of the maps have been laid out, most of the dialogue has been written and implemented, and the enemies have been created. Mia chapter 1 has been designed, outlined, and lots of dialogue was written there, and a rough map of the areas have been laid out. New skits have been written and implemented, and they've been a lot of fun to work on!

However, it's the gameplay side of things that's been the focus of my attention this past month. In terms of changes, there have been... lots. Since saves from the currently available demo cannot be transferred to the new demo, restrictions I had on me before have been lifted and I'm free to make some necessary updates and modifications.

For example:


Amalie's had a bit of an update. Her Stinger has been changed to a weapon with more functionality and story significance. Plus, the locket you see in her Relic slot has been added to give her a magic command in battle, and Piercing Light is now classed as a basic magic spell instead of being part of her Guardian Burst Drive tree. If you played the prologue, you'll recall Amalie has no magical abilities for herself, so this was given to her to keep consistent with the story and world.

But Mia, by far, has had the most work put into. I'll cover the specifics about her in the next blog, but suffice to say that quite a few systems have changed with her. Changes that make her not just easier to use and understand, but also more flexible to control. Mia's updates are actually what I'm most proud of here. Again, though, that's a topic for another blog. What I really want to talk about with you all right now is...

The Future:
I've been talking and showing off PotF to numerous people, including my college professors and other aspiring full-time devs, and they have been incredibly supportive and encouraged me to take development of PotF to the next level and find a place on the commercial world. As my time in university is reaching its final year, I'm starting to see that this is looking like the best route for me to take.

Making free games has been a blast, and I certainly plan on continuing to do so via either events on RMN or much smaller personal projects. But as it is right now, PotF is simply eating up too much of my time that I would otherwise use to further my career. So instead of scaling back my ambition for the game, I've decided to double down and go full steam ahead to make PotF as best as I can so this passion project can help advance my career.

I realize there is quite a bit of polish that needs to be made to the game, both visually and elsewhere. The good news is that I've received a few offers to give the game an OST, and I'm finally ready to make a commitment on that. So I'll be working with a composer to breathe new life into the game's audio. I'm also beginning to search for artists who can help make better, more unique animations for the game. The end result is that PotF will be a much stronger, more polished, and overall better quality game than it ever would have been before.

So what is this going to change here? Not a whole not, actually! I still plan on bi-monthly (or at least monthly) updates to stay as transparent as I can with regards to progress and updates. Plus, I still aim to continue releasing free demos to the public with the intent of working with all of you not just to build more PR for myself, but to take in your feedback and criticism. I want to make the best game I possibly can, and frankly, that can't be done without your input.

I can't possibly thank you enough for all the support you've given me so far, and I hope to continue working together with you! Thanks for reading!

Game Design

Sanity Cost: 999 SP

I was kinda bummed I couldn't find a team for the McBacon Jam. So to make up for my lack of participation, I decided to go ham on PotF and spend as much time as I would if I were on a jam. The end result is that a lot of ground was covered in both planned and unplanned areas. There's too much to cover in one blog, so I'll just focus on the most important one:

On a whim, I decided to jack up the levels of all the party members to about 30, then 60 (the planned levels by the end of the game) and did some random testing against stronger enemies. After overhauling all the stats for this last release, I wondered how that would affect mid to late game. Well, it's a good thing I did, because I uncovered a rather serious flaw in the SP mechanics: Once you get enough of it, you can fire off strong abilities like it's nobody's business, and the window of vulnerability left from low SP is negligible at best.

The intent of Stamina's inclusion into defense was to discourage spamming your strongest moves for fear of leaving yourself vulnerable to further damage. With basic attacks costing a mere 1 SP and most early game Drives and Burst Drives costing single digit SP costs, the game quickly became unbalanced as your levels rose higher and character's SP touched the 20s and even 30s. Something had to change.

So here is that change: All SP costs will now cost a small hard base plus a % of a character's Max SP. Let's look at Aeyr around the time he reaches the end of his prologue:



As you can see, these two Drives cost a little more than they do in the current demo. Sonic Fist costs 2 + 30% of Aeyr's max SP,and Heavenfall costs 3 + 35% of max SP. Stronger skills, such as magic, will take about 40% -50% plus one or two extra points of SP. Basic attacks will cost a straight 10% or 15% max SP with no added flat rates.

Since I wanted to shy away from more powerful versions of previous skills for the sake of variety, this change did a great job of keeping your early game skills useful while still forcing you to think about how vulnerable you'll leave allies after attacking. Later, when the damage output of enemies gets higher and higher, the lost SP will gain more and more meaning.

Well, that's all well and good, except for the fact that that one small change completely upsets the balance of the game. Foes were running out of SP way too often and started spending every other turn Focusing. If they weren't doing that, they would demolish allies because of how vulnerable they were thanks to all the SP spent attacking. When players are working with rather small numbers at the beginning of the game, single digit changes to SP here and there meant a rather large difference.

Essentially, this is what happened to the game after making this change and my reaction to it:



But hey, that's fine! In fact, this actually led to some much needed balance tweaks to make battles more fair. These tweaks have been a long time coming and, after running through the whole thing, make the game feel a lot more dynamic; Opportunities arise after foes use strong attacks that drain a large portion of their stamina, and tougher enemies no longer required multiple turns to chip away at their SP before inflicting damage. There have been quite a few compensations, but here are the two big ones:

- Every party member's initial HP and SP have been boosted, and they will gain more of each upon level up. Originally, characters used to gain on average 1 SP every level or two, but now they should gain at least 1 SP every level up, maybe sometimes even 2.

- Enemies will now regenerate 20% of their total SP each turn just like allies do. It always bothered me that foes didn't follow the same rules as allies, and now, with this change, the action has more of a flow to it as both sides can continue to launch offensive and defensive moves for a longer period of time before stopping to focus, maintaining a more consistent pace to battles.

So after playing through the game with these and many other adjustments, I realized that the game is now quite a bit easier. Thanks to the boost in HP and SP, there's more room for error while you're learning the mechanics. And you know something? I'm okay with that. I realized while watching someone play PotF in front of me that there just wasn't enough time spent with new players to get them adjusted to the mechanics before ramping up the difficulty. I thought I did a decent job with the beginning, but that turned out to be false.

There has been plenty of other changes as well, both inside and outside the battle system itself. I'm thinking about updating the demo to reflect these new changes once I playtest the entire prologue again to make sure everything works just right. However, I'm rather hesitant to do this because I'm also thinking about overhauling the database to reorganize items on the list. I misjudged the amount of spaces for equipment and skills I needed, and the only way to get it back on track is to revamp the database entirely. If I do that, however, your save files will no longer be transferable between versions. Yet at the same time, I don't want this page to go without a download for long.

Anyway, that's the big game-changer. Thanks so much for reading!

Announcement

Reference Guide is Available!

So as requested, and after taking the most common questions/concerns that I could find into account, the Reference Guide tab is now available for anyone who needs a quick reminder of how battles in PotF work. If you have any question that haven't been covered in the tab, please don't hesitate to let me know and I'll do my best to answer them!

I've given the help tab discussion some thought, and eventually came to a conclusion that led me to writing this up: There's nothing wrong with reminding players of the absolute basics of a game. Sometimes, especially if you come back to the game after some time has passed (such as the release of the next section of the story), you'd like a reminder of the basics without having to go through the tutorial areas again. So as long as I stick to the basics of gameplay and not flat out describe how to beat certain enemies/areas, then there is no "failure" as a designer to adequately explain how to beat their games.

Of course, I'm probably worrying too much about the subject. If there's even one person who finds the guide helpful, then I'll call it a smashing success!

It's worth noting that, as the game progresses and certain aspects of the game are tweaked, the reference guide may be updated accordingly. For instance: the formula for Guard Break attacks has already been changed from the current download, but the Reference Guide will not reflect that since the available build does not have that updated formula. Don't worry, I'll make sure to let you know of any serious changes when the next build is released, and any minor changes in the patch notes.

My end goal is to create a codex to include all this information and more for players to access in-game so the reference guide won't even be necessary. Until I take the time to actually write the script, a hints tab will have to suffice.



... I've lost control over my own life. You made me write up this guide to help players. This is your fault! YOU MADE ME DO THIS!

Game Design

Grinding's Final Hours and Harnessing the Power of Foes

Holy crap it's been a year since the gamepage was first made public?! I should have planned something special, like a tearful thank you post or an in-depth progress report on the whole game. Instead I made a promise to talk about a party member in the last blog and now I have to follow through on that. Whoops.

Well, for this totally NOT improvised at all anniversary update, I feel it's most appropriate to talk about a fix to one of the biggest issues the game had since it's initial conception! So how about we do that first?

By far the biggest problem I've faced with this game is to try and balance the feeling of survival with the growth elements of an RPG. The aim was to have every fight be tense, and how player skill and abilities factored into your success rather than levels and high damage numbers. Now, finally, I've figured out a simple solution:

EXP Decay


Amalie's too experienced to learn anything from these chumps!

After a character reaches a certain level, the experience they accumulate will begin to diminish. This means that grinding for levels becomes such a tedious task that players are highly discouraged from doing so.

Not only does this mean that you can't become OP via grinding, but this also comes with the added bonus of giving players a general idea of how much progress they should be making. Due to the linear nature of the story progression, it's possible to accidentally start in a high level area after you've cleared a chapter, and be severely underleveled while being unable to get stronger.

Here's how it works:

Every enemy is given a level, just like your party members. When a battle starts against a group of enemies, the enemy group's level is created by taking the average of the levels of every enemy in said group. After a battle is won, the troop's level is divided by each party member's level to create a modifier decimal, which is then multiplied by the amount of exp they would have normally gotten.

Take a battle in the prologue for example:



Two Savage Wolves. They are both level 6, so that's their troop level. Aeyr is level 4, while Amalie is level 16. After winning the fight, here is the experience awarded:



Aeyr gets the full experience amount normally awarded, while Amalie only gets a fraction of that, as 6/16 = 0.37, and 0.37* 100 = 37.

For those that did the math in their head and realized that Aeyr's experience modifier should be different, that's because, as of right now at least, the experience modifier doesn't go past 100%. You either get the full amount, or you get less. This can be changed in the future, but for now, I feel it encourages you to fight and level up even if you're afraid to because of lacking resources or whatever, which is part of the tension of the survival elements.


So there we go. The biggest potential problem with the gameplay I've had since the game began development has been solved. To get through this game, you have no choice but to learn the mechanics and the characters.

In other words: git gud.


New Party Member: Trill



I've talked about her a few times before, but it was mainly just visual teasers. Now, I'm going into a little more depth about her and why her fighting style is one of my favorites. I would go more into her personality, but seeing as her dialogue isn't implemented into the game yet (it's all written, though), I think I'll leave that for you to see for yourself.

Unlike Amalie, Trill is in full control of her innate powers as a Manna. This means that she can utilize the Miasma around her to use abilities typically reserved for Miasma Monsters. As mentioned before, Trill can use Miasma Charge to, just like monsters, acquire HP/SP regen, Critical Hit chance, boosted Strength and Tech, and alter Drives to be even more potent than before.

Trill's Burst Drives are acquired by drawing Miasma from the environment around her , meaning that her abilities will change via location. They are mostly supportive abilities, but a few attacks are sprinkled in here and there. Again, it varies by location.



One thing that's common among all her Burst Drives, though, is that they become stronger or add new effects if Trill uses them while Miasma Charged. See above for example. You can immediately add two Armor buff stacks in one turn if Trill is charged, which is a pretty big deal if you're facing an enemy with high offense.

"Wow. This sounds OP as heck. If all this is true, then you would certainly want to always keep her charged right? I mean, HP/SP Regen? Higher Strength/Tech? AND Boosts her Drives to be even better than before? Why WOULDN'T you always keep it on?"

Here's the thing: While Charged, Trill essentially becomes a beacon of Miasma, and suddenly becomes the prime target of all enemies. So everyone will want a piece of Trill for their own. And remember: Trill is a Manna. Her physical offense and defense is very low. Charging with poor timing will result in her getting destroyed very easily. Then you'll have to waste a precious revival item to bring her back.

Coding Trill has been a real blast, as her fighting style treads new ground both for new players and Soul Sunder vets. Until Trill joins your party, players should always be wary whenever Miasma Charge pops up on the field. Well, it should STILL be tense when an enemy charges up, but to finally have that kind of power under your control is exciting and should raise many questions about the Manna and what kind of people they are.


That's all for this blog! Thanks so much for reading, and a huge thanks for keeping the interest up for PotF for over a year, and here's hoping to continue that excitement as development progresses!

Progress Report

Expanding the Framework and Overhauling Character Roles

Yikes, my blogging game has gotten pretty weak, hasn't it? Let's fix that.

Despite what the lack of tangible progress reports may indicate, work on PotF has been pretty consistent. It's just that the progress has almost all been in back door fields that don't make for interesting blog content (unless you think Word documents and database entries are interesting) and so I've been rather silent save for mini updates on Twitter.

However, it has been a month, and some sort of substantial update is overdue, so here I am.

90% of my work has been, as stated before, in back door fields. By far the most time and effort spent last month was laying out the story point-by-point. Sure, I knew what was going to happen and when before, but it wasn't until I started writing an actual synopsis (which, including just the absolute vital points to the story, just touched 11,000 words!) that I caught minor points and issues that needed addressing.

The biggest reason for laying the entire plot down to the specifics, though, is that just like Soul Sunder, PotF determines its ending based on the results of player actions instead of choices, so a lot of time needed to be spent making sure the criteria for each ending is a fair assessment of the way the player played as each character during their respective stories. This isn't something I can go back and change later for people who have files from future releases, so this needed to be right coming straight out of the gate. Just so there's no misunderstanding (and sorry if this breaks the immersion somewhat), your actions during the prologue were not judged in any way to determine the ending.

It's done, though, and now all that's left is to implement the listeners for these criteria before moving on to the dialogue proper. So yay!

*Side note: I would have been done quicker if I hadn't gotten carried away with writing optional skits. It'd be great to find a place to put them, but having the parties chat among themselves is so much fun!*

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There's been a fair amount done on the gameplay side, as well. Since the stat overhaul, a lot of previous strategies laid out for the characters became obsolete. Therefore, the rest of the cast needed to change accordingly. You may remember seeing a glimpse of Luke's abilities from a blog way back in December where he could demolish enemies due to his arsenal of magic attacks. Well, now his offensive capabilities have been pulled back a bit in favor of a wider variety of actions.


Frankly, I got bored to death of giving him every elemental spell, so this is his new loadout instead to encourage using other party members. He'll gain more abilities as he levels up, but his pool of spells should still have this kind of ratio.

Since Luke has no Drives anymore, his role as a nuke has been scaled back to only a few spells, and now includes more debuff and ailment-inflicting abilities. The lack of Drives meant his weapons also needed an overhaul, so changing his gear in battle focuses more on stats and resistances.

There's also been a tweak to the armor equip system, but I'm in more uncertain territory here. The idea behind the current system was giving the ability to have every character equip every piece of armor in order to allow you to create your own loadout. In practice, this became an absolute nightmare to test. Being a single individual with no ability to clone himself (yet), something had to be done, either by limiting the available armor or add in some restrictions if I ever wanted to make some semblance of progress within my lifetime. Currently, I'm playing around with a little bit of both.

Right now, I've changed the system so that not everyone can equip medium and heavy armor. Mia, for example can no longer equip heavy armor, so the Chain Mail you get in her prologue will have to be given to Amalie instead. The biggest issue holding me back from really delving deep into an equip overhaul was the fact that changing the system now will cause some issues with your save file if you've already played the current demo. For instance, there's already an issue with Mia and heavy armor if you (understandably) gave her Chain Mail during her prologue, but it's nothing game-breaking. Mia will still have the Chain Mail equipped, but will be unable to re-equip it if removed. However, I've been playing around with the idea of letting Relics be equipped in the same place as armor and removing the Relic slot entirely (sort of like Soul Sunder), but that has caused way more issues with a file if a character already has a Relic equipped.

Since I really don't want to force players to replay the demo over again for something so small, I think I'll leave it at the armor restrictions for now and just limit how much armor you can get. We'll see how this plays out during tests.

That's it for this blog! Sorry again for the lack of updates, but I hope this makes up for it. I'll talk a little more about the next party member in the next blog. For now, though, here's a little something that might pique your interest in her if you've played the demo:


What?! M-Miasma Charge?!

Announcement

The Full and Complete Prologue is Here!

So it is done. After testing, tweaking, scrapping and overhauling large chunks, and fine tuning the smaller details, the full complete prologue for Prayer of the Faithless is ready for public release.

Huge, HUGE thanks to the testers who pointed out all sorts of issues to fix, and an extra huge thanks to MakioKuta for the video playthrough, which pointed out all sorts of little issues that a text document could never show.

So what's new in this version? Well, there's a lot. Frankly, there's too many to list. I'll just name the big ones:

- Mia's prologue has been added
- Redesigns for every single character
- Overhauled dialogue
- Overhauled stats for both allies and enemies
- New skit points
- More tutorials

And a bunch of smaller additions that you can probably pick up on by checking out the updated screenshots.

Let me know if you have any issues or concerns. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy the new prologue! Thanks so much for playing!

*dies*

Request

Looking for beta testers

So far, things are looking to stay on track for a release this month. The art is done save for a few tiles and bust expressions, the dialogue needs a little editing before being added in, and the new battles have been designed and implemented. The biggest hurdle now is getting past the polishing phase. Not just for Mia's prologue, but for the game as a whole.

At this point, though I'm feeling more confident about getting this build ready for testing. I'm gonna try and crunch out a beta build of the complete prologue by exactly a week from now. This time, though, I want to send this out to more testers to get a wider range of feedback. unity and NeverSilent have done consistently fantastic work so far, and they will definitely get a build (if they have the time/inclination of course), but I'm particularly interested in how someone who hasn't had as much contact with the game as them feels about both the gameplay and the story.

I'll need people who can look for bugs, talk about balancing issues, and give input on the story and characters. Heck, even a stream-of-consciousness to let me know what you're thinking about when playing would be fantastic. Any or all of these would be very helpful. I'm gonna stick my neck out here by saying if you tried previous versions in the past and quit because it felt too unfair or too confusing or for similar reasons, you're exactly the kind of person I'm looking for. But really, anyone interested in testing is fair game.
There has been a lot of changes made to the game, and I'm hoping it will do a better job of getting the players settled to the game.

I would like to have the prologue released sometime this month, so testers can expect a build sometime in the week of the 23rd, and I'm hoping to have all the feedback in by the 28th to be able to make adjustments as needed.

Let me know either here or via PM if you're interested in beta testing. And of course you'll be added to the testers list.

Thanks so much for reading!