Monthly Archives: May 2019

Planet Stronghold 2 beta begins!

a video I made a few weeks ago to show PS2 combat gameplay

First of all, if you’re interested in testing the beta you can head straight here:

There’s a demo, and the beta covers the first two chapters of the story for now. Only the demo should last at least 5h if you play both sides: depending if you are loyal or rebel the first chapter will be VERY different (completely different missions!). Since you can also start with many different existing romances, it’s basically impossible to see everything in a single playthrough!

The current plan is to have the third and last chapter finished at once, probably during the Summer and a final game release in Autumn (not sure yet when, depends on many factors).

What has changed?

I got some fun comments in the past saying how little things change between each of my RPGs. I laughed loudly because I love to make new experiments and there are many improvements that aren’t immediately noticeable (but should be once you play the game for 5 minutes).

Anyway in this case I made a list of some (not all, because I probably forgot something!) new features vs my other RPGs:

  • a new party morale system, so that your party members will react unpredictably if their morale gets too low
  • automatic combat (AI controlling the party won’t use any offensive skill though)
  • improved isometric map, quest directly linked to specific places, fog of war, automatic movement clicking with the mouse on the map
  • global map resources values, you’ll get quests to increase them, and the only way to do it is explore the map and do sidequests to increase these values
  • crafting, salvaging and upgrading items (weapons, armors and helmets)
  • skills and usable items like grenades that inflict damage proportional to their level (differently from fixed damage they had before)
  • over 100 unique enemies with several new skills
  • many new unique party skills like Psionic Charm that forces enemy to fight for you for certain amount of turns
  • new Resilience value that determine how the target Defense goes down, each hit lowers it, and then once reaches zero it resets and target loses the 10% of its Defense value
  • each weapon feels different: SMG and machineguns can fire multiple times and they will bring down the resilience value fast but do little damage, Sniper Rifles have high critical value so you can get lucky and do great damage, Heavy Weapons do splash damage with normal fire, hitting enemies on the side (but have long reload times)
  • loyal/rival relationship system: you can get a romantic ending with all characters but the scenes/writing will change based on this value
  • friendly/forceful overall value for the playing character that has a minor impact in battles and changes parts of the story
  • better inventory management, an overall item “power” is displayed as a big number so it’s easier to determine what item is better, removed the paging system and used a big scrollable window
  • skills now have five different power levels each, without needing a skilltree, you simply assign skill points to improve each skill available for each character
  • a more “open world” system, you can even fail a good amount of the quests without a game over, but party will react to this and you’ll lose your reputation as hero if you fail too much!
  • a new statistic screens unlockable in chapter 3 that shows how many enemies of which kind you killed, how much damage/healing each party member has done, etc

As you can see, clearly very little has changed! haha! basically I reskinned the game engine as always lol

The beta version

As said above, the beta features the first two chapters of the game. This game has been really hard to write, more than ANYTHING I’ve ever done in the past, because there are so many variables that can impact the story.

I am requesting players’ help: beside the usual gameplay bugs report/feedback, which of course for a RPG is always welcome, I would really appreciate if people paid attention to potential plot holes. Writing the story both from loyal/rebel was much more complex than the first game, and let’s not talk about all the romances.

An example of a plot hole could be: if you play as rebel, the King is imprisoned but you made it seem that he was killed. Then in one dialogue I could refer to the king as he was still ruling, or not imprisoned, or dead for real. All three could be wrong depending on the context. Yes it’s not easy, but if you spot anything that even just looks “suspicious” feel free to let me know!

Now excuse me but I still have half game to write, design and code!

Corona Borealis is out!

Corona Borealis official trailer

The game official webpage is:

I’m happy to announce that Corona Borealis is out. I can take off an item from my “2019 goals list” then! I said it would have been out first quarter and there was only a little delay.

As usual, for now the game is available on my site (through only, but will appear also on Steam and mobile stores. I’m already working on those versions, though not sure how long will take yet.

I already wrote my feelings about the game when I annouced the beta, here I want only to add that it was really a nostalgic game for me, since it reminded me of my very early steps into visual novels / dating sims, both because of the art-style of the always wonderful Deji but also the kind of setting and story.

By the way if you’re stuck with the game, Jill (the writer) made a very useful walkthrough in my forums:

Planet Stronghold 2 beta

note to self: never make Shiler angry!

The beta will surely take place before end of May, as usual I’ll announce it on the social networks first. I have spent the last week adding more “camp talk scenes”. I’m going to follow the same system of Loren, that is many scenes but not necessarily all very long. Sometimes there’ll be a choice, other times not.

I am overall around 150,000 words considering all the main plot story and camp talk that you can unlock until the end of chapter 2. The game will have four chapters, though probably the last one will be shorter than the others (have still to plan it so I’m not sure really).

Compared to my latest/previous RPG, this one is much more RPG, meaning it has more complex gameplay. Just the fact that it combines crafting + isometric map exploration makes already the most complex game I made, but even the battles are, and the thing I was most pleased with was that you can win the same battle in different ways, using different “builds” or strategies.

Of course I’m curious to see what players will think too, that’s why I am eager to have it officially on beta, since you always find a lot of bugs but also solutions and/or different ways to solve problems only after the game is out and many people are actually playing it 🙂