Queen Of Thieves catacombs exploration

First of all, as you probably know, there’s the Steam Summer sale going on, until the 21st June. All my games are 50% off, except SOTW which is 25% since is still very new.
Check it here: http://store.steampowered.com/search/?publisher=Winter%20Wolves

Now, about the topic of this post: this week I’ve been busy finishing coding the “dungeon exploration” part of my upcoming game “The Queen Of Thieves”. As I posted in forums already, this part is separate from the main gameplay in which you go robbing the houses of the nobles.

Its mainly purpose is to provide a way to gain experience (the infamous “grinding”) for those players who like it. You’ll be able to access it from the map, as seen in the image below:

updatedmap

You can visit them once a day, and every time you finish a level you’ll need to wait several days before a new level opens (this to limit the grinding speed a bit!).

The first time you enter, you’ll be greeted by Tiberius (one of the romanceable characters, and the guards captain). He’ll accept your offer to help exploring the “catacombs” which are nearby the town.

tiberius

Once you enter them, you’ll see the view of the current catacomb level, like a sort of blueprint/map. You’ll be able to move through the various locations, which will be full of encounters. Each level will have different types of monsters. In this case, the first one has giant rats and disease rats.

catacombs

Before the fight, you’ll be able to place strategically your party members and also see the enemies level and monster type, alongside a short sentence describing the monster feature (for example the disease rat can inflict disease, while the giant rat is very fast).

prebattle

There will be different winning and starting conditions: in some fights you’ll need to kill a specific enemy to win, in others you’ll be ambushed so enemies start with a speed bonus the first round, and so on.

I plan to have 9 levels in total, which should be enough to provide a good variety. Also, differently from what I originally thought, I am also going to write a short story about what happened in those catacombs, so if you manage to explore them all you’ll discover some important information 😉

Posted in queen of thieves, Steam | 2 Comments

Introducing “Cursed Lands”

What is “Cursed Lands”?

This week I got a big chunk of writing for my new game, Cursed Lands, from the writer, so I thought to make an introductory post about this game.

What makes it a bit different from my other RPGs, is that in this case there’s a bigger roleplay element, like the “character creation” phase at beginning of the game. There will be fights, but with some new gameplay elements. It’s much more story-based, since during the fights themselves you’ll be able to interact with the enemy, allies and environment, to change the battle/situation outcome.

In many cases you’ll have to make a “tough choice”. No compromises, just pick one of the two option, with different consequences.

Anyway, I thought to make a nice image as summary of this game romances:

romances
All Cursed Lands romances, divided by gender/sexual orientation

Forgive me for the low quality but I made the mockup quickly using JPGs instead of the original images, so there might be some white borders. The in-game art will look great as usual! My favorite character is Nuala, even if both Nagas are awesome of course. What’s yours? 😉

The game premise

I don’t want to reveal much of the story for now, however I can share the initial premise, from an early draft the writer sent me:

The game takes place over the course of four “months” or cycles of the moon. The game begins with mist covering the area from the Castle of N’mar. The mist particles reflect light by day, causing blindness in those who spend too much of the daylight hour in the mist, and by night, it is too dark to see. Thus, the human empire responds by sending an army to investigate, coincident with the full moon; they can see by the light of the full moon without being blinded.

The game takes place in the year 653 since foundation of Grimoire (the official dating system of my fantasy world of Aravorn), so 13 years before the events happening in Loren Amazon Princess. Queen Karen will play a major role in the story (no, you can’t romance her!). If you’re curious, here’s the current Aravorn timeline: http://aravorn.com/index.php?title=Timeline

The game characters

The cast is quite interesting and varied. The romances are only those pictured above (so don’t ask if someone else can be romanced!! lol), but there are also other characters that you can recruit for your main quest, max 1 for each race or guild/ethnic group. I’ll make a short introduction here, with a portrait and a phrase from what I’ve read so far that I found interesting/representative of that character:

GalanGalan (dwarf berserker)
“I know that I’m no hero.  Sometimes I like to pretend that I am.  But when I jump into the fray, telling myself that I’m doing justice by defending the weak, I’m really lying to myself.  Because the truth is, when I get into a fight, it’s for one reason and one reason only: I like to fight.”

DasyraDasyra (dwarf healer)
“I never fancied myself a fighter, but in that moment of combat, standing by your side, it was like I was operating in a higher state of consciousness.  It was like I became suddenly aware of my own mortality, but also aware of the mortality of the men who were attacking me.  Everything else, the entire world of worries and stress I’d been carrying until that moment, they all ceased to be relevant.”

KushoKusho (elf assassin)
“So you’d have me working as part of a group?  Well, solo work really is my preference.  But infiltration sounds right up my alley.  I imagine the castle of N’Mar is ripe with hiding locations.  That architecture is ripe with nooks and crannies.  And shadows.  I do like shadows.”

VaerilVaeril (elf druid)
“You’ve just met me.  It seems a bit premature to judge my character when we’ve had not more than an hour to share words. Some will have drinks with a man one day, and slay him the next.  You can’t judge the body of a man’s character from a single act.  You know nothing of the sins or virtues of my past.”

GeraldineLady Geraldine (merchant)
“Do you want to know what I think?
The needs of the living outweigh the needs of the dead.  Give the dead their respect.  But don’t let them occupy space that could be put to better use.  The memorial can always be rebuilt elsewhere.”

CedricCedric (merchant)
“The truth is, a symbol like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier means more than a profit-minded woman like Geraldine could ever hope to understand.  An officer realizes there are things more important than money.  Loyalty.  Duty.  Honor.  Those are the values that we prize above all else.”

SylrissaSylrissa (naga blademaster)
“If I ever met a vampire, I’d very much enjoy having the chance to dance with them, and then have a pleasant chat with them, and then slice them up a bit with my blade. No better way to get to know someone than from the inside out, eh?”

EnokEnok(naga battlemage)
“Nagas have very few rules when it comes to killing. Anyone who steps into naga territory unwelcome is likely to made into a meal. Naga kill all the time, without provocation.”

The pirates, amazons and nomads are missing since the recruitment scenes for them haven’t been written yet.

I’m quite excited by this game, also for personal reasons: back in the years 1996-1997, I already wanted to make games, but was still too young and inexperienced. However I liked to dream, and so I started to design on paper a game, which was called indeed “Cursed Lands”. Now, almost 20 years later… 😉

Posted in Cursed lands, roleplay games | 12 Comments

Heirs & Graces – Vincent

vincent

Today we introduce another character of the upcoming yaoi dating sim “Heirs & Graces”: Vincent.

Vincent has been working for Lord Sandor since he was sixteen. He was initially hired on as a regular servant, but has since risen to the position of butler. Though it is possible he would have gotten the position by simply not quitting, Vincent has proven himself more than capable in the role.

He handles nobles well, does more than his fair share of work, and has a good head for business on top of that. Vincent’s advice has gone far in helping Lord Sandor expand his wealth, though Lord Sandor gives Vincent little credit for it. Vincent doesn’t mind though as he sees it as a normal part of his job. Lord Sandor has grown to trust Vincent implicitly and often lets Vincent take care of his daily affairs.

While Vincent excels at his job, he has a hard time navigating the world outside of it. He doesn’t really know what to do with his free time so he usually spends it completing extra work or learning skills that will help him improve his work.

Needless to say, his social life is virtually non-existent. Kamal is the only one Vincent can honestly claim as a friend and that’s only because Kamal goes out of his way to interact with him. If Vincent isn’t working, he feels useless and Vincent can’t stand feeling useless.

His greatest fear is that the people around him will consider him a bother. To avoid this, Vincent strives for perfection in all of his tasks to the point where he becomes devastated on the rare occasions where he does make a mistake – no matter how small that mistake may be.

Vincent is strict with himself, but he’s surprisingly understanding when others make mistakes. He’s quick to step in to help out when other servants get into trouble and doesn’t reprimand them if they’ve learned their lesson. He is a bit lenient in general, but he can be stern if he’s pushed too far.

Overall, Vincent is reliable and loyal. He’s a good person to have on your side.

More progress on the other games!

I’m making more progress on Queen Of Thieves, the skilltrees are basically done. I had the idea to use Hands Of Fate (not my Heileen 2 game, that popular roguelike) card system for the exploration: instead of cards, will be rooms of the various buildings the girls will explore trying to rob rich people. Each room will have a surprise (both positive or negative) randomly chosen from a set of possible events. I think done this way it’s more “casual” and easier to code than an isometric map :)

I still have some great isometric tileset done by artist that I’ll reuse in other fantasy games.

Next week I’ll also begin talking about my CYOA game “Cursed Lands” with some previews and more info about it!

Posted in Cursed lands, dating sims, Heirs & Graces, yaoi | 8 Comments