Planet Stronghold 2 Cast: Lakadema

Lakadema is the cutest alien ever made! Though Shiler might disagree

Lakadema

In the game’s second chapter, Joshua/Lisa will meet a mysterious alien named Lakadema. She’s part of a race never seen before on Planet Stronghold, and also the source of great power.  She has a connection with the whole planet, like she could speak to it as if it was a living being. Her powers were exploited by others, so the player decided to intervene and protect her.  I won’t go into to many details because it’s a plot spoiler, but she will be a romance option for both Lisa and Joshua.

Some might think that Lakadema is very shy, but in reality she is very reserved and bears a big burden.  Sometimes she speaks in riddles, but in the end everything she says will make sense.

The other party member will react differently to having a powerful alien inside the colony or in the case of Rebel alignment, yet ANOTHER powerful alien beside Shiler. Lakadema is like a wild animal: both scary and beautiful at the same time.  Scary because you know how deadly she can be, beautiful because of her uniqueness.

Lakadema will play a key role through the whole game, and will hep Nelson achieve their goals, and earning their trust.

Progress update

Earlier this month I passed the 100,000 words goal on Planet Stronghold 2 script. I am still writing the second chapter out of four (chapters have variable length). I am not sure yet but it’s likely even this game will end up around the 250,000 words range! Another small game ™ !

exploring a sector in the second chapter of the game

However, I’ve been working not only on the story but also on the gameplay. I don’t want to get cocky but I personally think this is the best RPG I made for gameplay, even better than SOTW (if you forgive me the missing front/back rows…)

And it’s interesting how new ideas to balance the gameplay (or make it more fun/realistic) comes at unexpected times. For example, in the screenshot above, I was playtesting the second chapter maps and I noticed something for the first time: as you explore the map, it gets revealed, and you can stumble into enemies.

Like the first game, you can avoid the random encounters, but avoiding them injures slightly your party. I did this to avoid the player skipping all the fights, making them meaningless.

But I didn’t take into account one thing: even if you stumbled into all the possible random encounters, and you decided to avoid them all, losing all your party health, the game would still let you navigate through the maps with your hovercraft!! lol

Basically, you could spend the first day on each chapter to unveil all the maps at the cost of lowering your party health to zero. Not a problem, since you could just go back to the colony and advance time by one day to get full health again!

So now I changed it so that you can’t explore the map anymore if your overall health goes below the 20%. A very simple, small change, but that has a big impact on gameplay, making everything more realistic, and for the hardcore RPGs players, more fun.

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Nina

my cat Nina 2005-2019

Tonight, two hours past midnight, my beloved cat Nina passed away. She had a lymphoma, so we knew this day would have arrived.

She was for sure my favorite pet ever. I didn’t choose her, it was she who choose me. She was always following me everywhere, almost never leaving me alone. I am going to miss her so much!

Yesterday morning was clearly not feeling right. However, she already had episodes like that before, then she recovered. This time, she didn’t.

She was on the bed with my wife (who goes in bed much earlier than me) yesterday evening. She looked at me, and I went to pet her. Then I left, to go watch some TV. My wife politely scolded me saying that she was still looking at me when I left the room, and to come back to pet her some more. And I did it, she was purring, that was the last time I saw her alive.

I never though that it would have been the last time, but I guess the morale is, value every minute you spend with someone (human or animal, doesn’t matter) you love, because it could be your last moment.

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Planet Stronghold 2 Cast: Queen Shiler

Queen Shiler in her throne in an unknown place in the jungle

In the last blog post I almost forgot that there was indeed another character I should introduce (or better, re-introduce) that is Queen Shiler.

It was one of the main characters of the first game and in this sequel you can romance her as Joshua. I know many asked for the possibility to romance her as Lisa too, but the game had already too many romances and besides the artist no longer works for me (so I couldn’t have made a proper romance CG anyway).

Let’s introduce Queen Shiler now.

Queen Shiler

Shiler is the Queen of the Marada, race which has a very peculiar quality: they have a ‘hive mind’, similar to that of bees. Shiler can see anything that happens on the planet through the eyes of those she calls “her daughters,” other Marada soldiers. Apparently, while the other Marada can act independently, they all follow the guidance of Shiler, the mechanics of which are still unclear to the humans so far…

In this sequel, you’ll learn that the Marada have other classes/roles besides soldiers like Shaman, Healer, etc. There is certainly more to the Marada, but I don’t want to spoil the story too much since depending on your choices, you’ll need to fight against them sooner or later.

Shiler is seen as a manipulative character, which she honestly is. However, she is also very mysterious since her reasons aren’t immediately clear, leading to Joshua/Lisa thinking that she is hiding many things.

If you sided as a Rebel in the first game, you’ll start with her ruling the colony Zero-One with Prince Cliff. If you were a Loyalist, you though you killed her during the first game, but that might not be entirely true…

As already mentioned, you can romance her playing as Joshua and it will be a weird relationship, leading to some interesting outcomes (which of course I can’t write here!)

Other games update

Jill has been testing a lot Corona Borealis in the past weeks and we’ve fixed several bugs already, we’re at very good point. At the same time, we started with the game trailer production.

Volleyball Heaven keeps going steady, and since some people recently asked, I also replaced Summer In Trigue writer (who sadly couldn’t keep working for some personal issues) to speed things up since that game is also on hiatus since too much time! There’s also a poll in my forums where I’m asking for feedback about the game art, check it here: https://winterwolves.net/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=4173

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Planet Stronghold 2 Cast: Milo McKendry

Milo might lack discipline but he’ll be a good partner… in and out of the battlefield!

First of all, Happy Valentine’s Day! I am running a small sale on itch.io until Sunday, check it here: https://itch.io/s/16804/valentine-2019

And now I’m introducing one of the new characters of the game and probably one that will become the most popular (at least speaking about the male characters). Actually, he might be the only new one I’m going to introduce! Yes, because the other new ones could be a bit of a spoiler of the game story (one in particular) so I haven’t made my mind yet if I’ll introduce them. I’m talking of course about Lakadema and… another one which his appearance alone might be a source of questions already! lol

Anyways, here we go introducing Milo McKendry!

Milo McKendry

Milo McKendry is a new character who will appear in Planet Stronghold 2. He comes directly from the Mars Military Academy and is a synth specialist ( synth encompasses things like synthetics, robots, androids and mechs).

Not much is known about him and his past, but his arrival doesn’t go unnoticed! He travels with this pet, Soot, an animal found on Mars which people call “dust bunnies”. He swears that Soot is harmless, however it’s not entirely true. Soot will give a hand on the battlefield and be a source of funny moments outside combat (especially when standing up to Rebecca, making her furious).

Milo’s personality is bizarre to say the least. He often uses humor to get through the most difficult moments, but he can be serious if the occasion demands it. However, don’t expect him to be serious and rational at the same time; you might be asking too much!

Milo is a bisexual romance, meaning he will be available both for Joshua and Lisa. Rumors say that there is something between Rebecca and Milo, and she might already know him before he arrived.  However, this will be discovered only by playing the actual game…

Progress Update

Planet Stronghold 2 development is going very well. As you might be aware I’m writing it myself (there’s no way such a complex, branching game could have been written by an external writer!) but I am of course using an editor to review everything. I think the result will be good.

See? Even Milo knows that this game will rock!

We’re also doing the last finishing touches to Corona Borealis, the secondary NPCs are all finished and the last missing background is being made right now!

A sketch of the three extra secondary characters for Corona Borealis

Meanwhile the script reviewing for Volleyball Heaven is still going. I am not talking much about that game recently, but no worries it’s still going! I am working a lot on Planet Stronghold 2 right now because in a couple of months I’ll need to do more house-renovating works that will last about one month, so I’ll be very busy during that month and for sure I won’t be able to work on a complex game like a RPG. But I might be able to script VBH instead!

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Planet Stronghold 2 Cast: Michelle Lafleur

Michelle Lafleur

It’s no secret that Michelle Lafleur is not the most disciplined soldier. She prefers to be informal when talking to direct superiors, she frequently questions orders, and she is more likely to be found at a party than the training grounds.

So why is she still in the army, and more importantly on Nelson’s team? The reason is simple: she is naturally ambidextrous, dual-wielding pistols or submachine guns with deadly accuracy. Such ability is so rare that previous officers before Nelson turned a blind eye to her other problems.

Despite her natural talent, Michelle doesn’t really like to fight. She will always seek a peaceful solution over conflict. Even if she is very good at it, she doesn’t take any pleasure in killing other living creatures, even if they are aliens threatening her people.

Because of this, at the end of the first game she resigned from the army and lived in one of the new flourishing Maradan towns. She started to work as a bartender, the perfect job for her allowing her to socialize and meet new people.

Michelle was unsure about her sexuality until she broke-up with her last boyfriend Marcus. Since then, she realized that she only likes women. Playing as Lisa, it is possible to end up in a romance with her.

Progress Update

This will be my first RPG to feature a (very simple) automatic combat feature

Progress on Planet Stronghold 2 is going well! As you can see above, I added a completely new feature (for my games of course) that is, automatic combat. The AI is rather dumb (unfortunately I couldn’t re-use the enemy AI) but to be honest it’s very effective. I playtested several random encounters and if I equipped my team properly, I won most of the fights in Normal difficulty (of course not in the optimal way as if I had played it myself). Overall I think will be a useful feature, both for players but also for me during testing.

I’ve also added another difficulty setting option. Beside the overall difficulty, now you can also choose if the enemy levels will adapt to your party. It works like this: in each sector there will be fixed quests/battles and random encounters. Each encounter’s level is based on the sector. If a sector says levels 1-5 means that enemies will usually be within that range, except bosses.

You will be able to change this behavior in options if you want to increase the challenge:
– Default: the default, enemies will adapt to party but never higher than the sector max level
– Random Encounters: the random encounters ONLY, will adapt to your party level without restrictions (not the plot battles)
– All Battles: ALL the battles of the game will adapt to your party level without restrictions, including the plot battles

Needless to say, the latest option increases the difficulty significantly. I’d dare to say that the game is harder in Normal difficulty with this last option enabled, than in Nightmare with this option disabled, since as you can imagine if the enemy levels doesn’t scale the same way as yours, you can use grinding to get to the plot battles at higher level/better equipped.

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