Monthly Archives: April 2017

Love Bites & Cursed Lands update

In the image above, the usual “character selection screen” from Love Bites! Yes I’m starting to work on this game now, coding the various gameplay parts. First of all, yes there will be a scheduler but there won’t be any stat raising!

See, I listen to what you tell me 😉 I’m not against stat raising games of course, but they need to be very integrated with the story or the gameplay mechanics. Skill checks to pass, and that change the events of the story for example. I agree that if all the stats have to do is just make the gameplay a grind to reach the required value, it’s better to not have stats at all! And that’s why I decided to not have them in Love Bites to unlock the endings.

However, there will still be a scheduler and a few variabls, which together with the in-story choices, will unlock some endings or variants. The current plan is:

  • each love interest has a job to offer to the protagonist. Depending which jobs you take, you’ll unlock more scenes and advance the romance with the love interest.
  • each weekend (Saturday/Sunday) there will be the chance to have a date with one of the love interests
  • in the visual novel scenes, there won’t be anymore a “right or wrong” choice, leading to an increase of relationship. Instead, each choice will alter some hidden variables which will lead to endings variations. I’m not sure if I’ll keep those variables hidden or even show the effects on the choice text itself, have yet to decide it.
  • the only variable in the scheduler will be Energy, Money and another one which I’m not revealing for now (could be called “Stress”). They can influence the game ending and even lead to a sudden game over (don’t worry, it’s not easy to “lose” in this game) and relative achievement, which will be fun 🙂

Love Bites beta should begin this Summer or early September, though not sure yet when exactly.

Cursed Lands news

Good news: the script of Cursed Lands (in the screenshot above, the game main menu) it’s at very good point, and should be completed this year. Of course this doesn’t mean that the GAME will be out this year! 😉

Currently the story is already over 150,000 words, so it’s likely that the final story will be close to the 200,000 word range. Yes, I managed to make another “small game” ™!

Jokes apart, I think for a RPG with a good story, recruitment missions, loyalty/relationship/friendship/romance paths, male / female main character, side missions etc… 200,000 words are needed.

This game, without any spoilers, consists in 3 phases: the intro, where the player is “hired” for an important mission regarding N’Mar. A central phase where player must explore the world and recruit new party members to help with the main goal. A third phase where the “final battles” is played and everything it’s resolved.

In the image above you see a prototype of the central phase, where players will spend most of the time. Yes it’s similar to Amber’s, but the similarities ends with the left GUI 🙂

What about the gameplay? For now I can tell you a few things about the RPG/combat:

  • you can use special skills (Talents) against normal enemies and, with reduced effects, against bosses. Your playing character possess those talents which can lead to interesting results. For example let’s pick the following talent: Bluff – May cause enemy to flee and drop an item. Obviously, with normal/regular enemies this will work (of course during testing I’ll limit certain talents to once in a battle, and also will depend on the target level, etc) but with bosses not (otherwise there won’t be combat lol).
  • if you remember the very old announcement post, I posted a screenshot of the love interest, 6 in total. However, you can recruit MORE people to help with your quest! There are two dwarves, Dasyra and Galan, which are each one the opposite personality/class (Dasyra is a healer, Galan a berserker) and we also decided to allow some secondary side mission which will enable the player to recover also characters that maybe were abandoned in the first mission (where a choice is forced). A total of 10 characters can be recruited in total, and with all of them you can increase your relationship and unlock a “friendship bonus”.
  • because of previous point, to avoid micro-management madness, I’ve decided that each character will have 4 or maximum 5 inventory slots: main/off hand, ranged, armor, jewelry/accessories. I think I might reuse SOTW system with randomized items but for sure have unique items that will be more powerful than anything else.
  • same for the skills: I prefer to have less skills but designed better, so 5 skills for each character, for a total of 50 different skills (enemies might have others though). I haven’t made my mind about the attributes yet, could use same system as SOTW since it’s already well tested.

As you can see, this is definitely NOT a small game by any means even for the complexity of gameplay. The script should be finished towards end of this year, so I might even be able to release this game next year. I know this is a game I started only recently, but as I’ve said many times, I cannot control how slow/fast writers work, so it can happen that games started not long ago are finished sooner than games in the works since years.

Well, at least means a new RPG will be out relatively “soon”, right? 🙂

Amber beta and rest of the year plans

Amber’s beta officially started a few hours after the latest blog post 2 weeks ago, and I’ve made good progress in fixing bugs and adding features, thanks to the usual great testers in my forums. Special thanks in particular to “Franka” for the help in testing the crafting framework so accurately! (it takes a long time lol)

For those who want to try the game, here’s the official page:

The beta is in a very advanced state: the story is finished, and at the time of writing this post no known bugs are left 🙂

Rest of the year plans!

And now, time to talk about the upcoming release of 5 new RPGs this year!!! Haha obviously I am joking 😀

Having a game I started officially so long ago like Amber in beta is very satisfying, but unfortunately for many of the others there’ll be more to wait because are either RPGs, have an insane amount of romances, or both. Three games in particular, Undead Lily, Planet Stronghold 2 and Loren 2 have all those “problems” 🙂

Anyways, if you remember in the first months of this year I was working on Undead Lily. I asked my coder to do some changes to the card framework and the “good old” RPG framework used in Loren, SOTW, etc.

The first change, on the card framework, would allow the cards to have “skills”. So in practice it would become quite similar to a RPG system, but with the usual easy to understand rock/paper/scissor mechanics typical of a card game.

The second change instead would consist of adding a delay based system with a fixed turn on the RPG framework. Currently the framework has action cost/time (as you know if you played those RPGs) but we cannot measure “a turn”, since it’s all relative to each creature’s speed. So if a party had super-quick creatures, for them the “turn” would pass faster than the others.

Changing it to a fixed timer would allow me to use fixed turns, so have events happening each turn (which would be the same for both the factions involved in the battle) and also some more cool things like having actions that cost less time, so your unit could attack and use a potion in same turn, etc. I would use it mainly to do my Undead Lily experiments but also in future games 🙂 I think it could even allow the implementation of a system similar to Fallout 1-2 or Wasteland 2 “AP points”, in which each action has an AP cost. This last feature though isn’t officially approved by my coder, so might just be my dream 😀

Regarding which games will come out next this year: I’m currently aiming at releasing at least a dating sim or maybe two. One is Love Bites, while I won’t say what is the other, also because it could be a “cursed game” or a game still unannounced 😉