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The Future of Soma Spirits

  • Sgt M
  • 12/28/2016 03:22 AM
  • 3893 views
It's been quite a year, hasn't it? It's hard to believe that Soma Spirits came out over four months ago, and in many ways it feels like it's been so much longer than that.

Since releasing Soma Spirits, I've been experimenting with projects here and there, but I'm finding that with a lot of changes that came into my life this year, a lot of those projects and ideas seem like pipe dreams. And ever since I released the game, and regardless of what kinds of projects I start, I have a strong nagging feeling in the back of my head that I want to do more with the game; that there's more to it that I want to pursue.

So I thought about the feedback I've gotten from the game, and the kind words and thoughts that many players within the community gave in response to their experiences with it. I feel incredibly thankful when someone comes to me, a friend or stranger alike, and tells me that they liked the game, even months after the "golden" release period has passed.

That's part of why I want to make Soma Spirits better.



So came the idea of Soma Spirits Rebalance: an extended version of the game that makes a number of key improvements. Here are some of the key features planned, though this list is not comprehensive:

Balance changes

As the name implies, the biggest change in Rebalance is a full reworking of the game's combat. While the core gameplay is largely the same, my goal is to make the gameplay and challenge level much tighter: to make it less "Mash Fight to kill the dudes" and to bring more synergy to the duo.

The key mechanic of Soma Spirits has always been the "roles" that Heart and Soul switch back forth with depending on where they are. But this feature was largely mitigated by the game's low difficulty level and questionable need for most of the abilities at all. Rebalance will aim to make the Attacker/Defender roles more concrete by making abilities more useful, learned at different levels, and with entirely new spells introduced.

But flexibility is always an option.

New Difficulties!



New difficulty options are available for players of all types. Easy is for those who want to just breeze through the story. Normal will be default, but overall more polished and more difficult than the game's original difficulty. And Hero will be far more challenging overall, featuring enemies with higher stats and fewer treasure chests.



Aesthetic changes are also planned, including a new font that doesn't alias like it went through the wash, a cleaner battle UI and various visual updates. The graphics won't be completely redone, but I do hope to update a good chunk of the tiles and sprites, especially from earlier areas.



Heart and Soul will have cleaner sprites, as an example.

Expanded Story

Rebalance will also have new story elements that weren't present in the original, with new cutscenes and revisions to the story. One particular character's role in the story will be greatly expanded upon, and will be much more developed than they were before. With it will come more additions to the overarching plot to tie in this new character's developments, as well as a more event-focused intro to replace the rather drab slideshow that starts off the adventure.

There will be new gameplay content too, of course. Including a whole postgame dungeon and extensions to areas that were previously a bit too short.

The Path to Greenlight

Which brings me to my big resolution for all of this: I want to put Soma Spirits Rebalance on Steam Greenlight. With everything I want to revise, I'm hoping this version of the game will be different enough to be commercial-worthy. Obivously, Greenlight will be a challenge all in its own, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. I'm looking to launch the campaign sometime in January or February and I guess we'll see where it goes from there.

---------------------

So that's my plan for the upcoming year. And of course, I want to give a big Thank You to everyone who has supported the game thus far. And a HUGE Thank You to SpecialAgentApe for being a great friend, a splendid composer, and for all of his contributions to the project so far.

I hope 2017 will be an exciting and successful year for Heart and Soul and all of their dopey friends. Let's see what happens!

Posts

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zDS
Besr Richard Slayer
5035
It's like Rare is coming back to life in 2017 with its new games Yooka Laylee and Soma Spirits Rebalance!

I am not only hyped for this, I would vote Yes and purchase in a heartbeat. I have not beaten the game yet, but I am getting close and I will gladly replay the new balanced version.

Best of luck with this! I fully support you going commercial. Hell, if this works I'd recommend doing a similar treatment for Yuusha. RPG Maker games have a bad reputation and that's because the best games tend to be the free ones.

I'm not sure the amount of success you'd receive, but your games are a mixture of well writing, good level design, cute graphics, and kickass music. If any game has a chance, it's Soma Spirits.
Solitayre
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
18722
I completely support this. If it goes well I hope you'll consider similar treatment for Brave Hero Yuusha and put that one on Steam as well. They're both great.
KatanaHiroshi
I am definitely not in VTuber hell.
4197
Hero Mode First Try Let's Go No Wallet Challenge
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Difficulty modes yesss I've always thought it was a bit on the easy side.
Postgame content I'm all for, was excited to see that there was a new game+ boss.
Even more interesting, post game dungeons that unlock based on what you do, like 2-3 or so based on your path. Random idea.
But otherwise, awesome news. Soma Spirits is addictive and I can't wait to see it expanded upon. :3
You already know I support this and im willing to help in any way I can for Greenlight, I wish you the best of luck and cant wait to play through the new version.
Awesome! :D I'm all for backin' this move forward!
Kloe
I lost my arms in a tragic chibi accident
2344
Yay! I know you have the heart and the soul to do great, I love the less aliased font and new sprites too!! :D
unity
You're magical to me.
11176
This looks wonderful! :DDDD Looking forward to seeing the results, and best of luck on Greenlight and getting this great game out to more people ^_____^
Thank you everyone ;w;

This feels like such a huge step. All of your encouragement goes a long way, and I hope I can make this the best that it can be!
NeverSilent
Got any Dexreth amulets?
6064
As long as it's your intention to keep the free version up and available here as well, I can only support what the others have said so far: Go for it! I'm confident the results will be spectacular. Best of luck!

Oh, and by the way, should you happen to need testers to give feedback during the development of the new version, I'd be happy to volunteer for that.
Yep. The current version will still be available for free and always will be. I wouldn't wanna backtrack on something like that.
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7488
I like being able to see all the commands in one screen, so I'm really digging the new battle UI layout.

I'm in full support of this going commercial, and I'll certainly check out the new version when it becomes available. Good luck!
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