UPDATES 5/10/12 - Added a Kickstarter project (link at Dev Blog, front page, top post) to help fund original tiles. (Game is still free, however.) Also updated the Character art on the Dev Blog. 5/1/12 - Working on parallaxing the next set of maps, recruiting voice actors for Matthew and ShindoW, eventing first few dates, adding a Talent system. 4/29/12 - Beta testers demo is out! This is the partial demo. Half way there! 4/25/12 - Added battle voices, parallax maps 98% complete, original music added, demo almost complete. 4/4/12 - Added Dev Blog. Pushed back demo date due to parallax mapping. Once the first dungeon / town are parallaxed, I'll put up the demo, even though it extends far beyond that. 4/2/12 - Added screenshots of updated battle, menu, and parallax maps. 3/31/12 - The demo will now include affection checking / events for Matthew and ShindoW. The others are WIP, although their events are still active. 3/30/12 - Updated recruitment section and added more to the story synopsis. I am about 80% done with the demo! :) Expect it soon, should be about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour of gameplay and story. 3/28/12 - Working on monsters/skills/items to get the demo out. Expect it in about 2 weeks! 3/20/12 - Picked up again. Planning to work on parallax mapping and finishing the story. Gameplay will be balanced last, but any demos will include balanced gameplay. 6/12/11 - Haitus due to Tawantinsuyu.
Story Synopsis: Not to long before your arrival, a take over broke out in Heaven, breaking the Seal of Gehenna seperating the four planes of existence (Earth, Heaven, Hell, and Limbo). Rebellious angels and the demons that teamed up with them created a new world under the instruction of a new leader while god is nowhere to be found. God's loyal protector, the Valkyrie, seperated her mind and body so they could not be used for the Order's evil doings. She sent her assistant, a reaper, to wait out the time until her return when the rebels would be ready to reclaim their world once more and return it to peace.
You are Matthew, a boy who has awakened in the middle of a forest of autumn leaves. You're taken in by a kind old woman who explains to you that you are dead, in the world of Perception. You can remember basic things like your name, your friends, how to ride a bike; but you can't remember why you're dead and you are troubled by the voice of someone calling out to you. This voice tells you that you have been seperated from your friends and you set out to find them. Along the way you meet people you knew in your past, present, and those completely new to you. As your journey beckons onward you are thrown into a conflict of biblical proportions, but in the end it is all connected to you, the Catalyst. The one who can shape the world and change everything. A world of ruin, a world of hope, a new world to your liking. It's up to you.
Matthew continues through the forest mindlessly, searching for his reason, until he finds one of his old friends, ShindoW. He knew her when he was younger-- she had killed herself only recently. After they share some old times, ShindoW tells him about the Order and how they must be stopped to restore Heaven-- their chance comes when rumours of a great angel, Sandalphon, has returned. ShindoW and Matthew team up to not only find their friends and family, but to stop the renegade devils and angels.
All of the characters have their own reasons, from redemption, the want to go home, or the want to stay in Perception and never go home. Each character will tie up loose ends from their previous life and face the demons they've escaped from. A lot of the story is about how these characters once lived, how to make up for their lives they've wasted or tried too hard for, and where they are going in a chaotic afterlife.
Not all MakeAChoice events pertain to love or the story. Some are merely for characterization.
I started working on this game as a solo project awhile ago, although the ideas for it have been around for a few years. Most of the plot is complete, it's just a matter of getting it down in some form. This originally started out as the final novel to a series of dramatic fiction stories I have. This one is unique however in that it's a fantasy like setting. I really am passionate about making it into a game and I am hoping in the future to find others who are willing to help me make this project come to life. Despite this, the game is completely understandable and playable without having read the novels (book one is nearly complete) and the characters pasts being unlocked as you go is a big part of the story, as it should be with all characters, including my antagonists who aren't "evil" just because.
My largest inspirations are Star Ocean, Final Fantasy, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne (I'm actually not even a fan of this game due to lack of character team-mates, but the SMT system of Law, Dark, ect. always fascinated me) and Lunar 2 in terms of style of game functions. I originally wanted a fast paced battle system similar to Tales of/ Star Ocean, but it's difficult to make. (I am not a scripter, either.) However, I did carry over the dating system of Star Ocean as well as a bit of their Item Creation (Recipes = new items). There's a choice system that relates to dating AND plot at the same time (sort of combining SO and SMT:N). I wanted the choices to effect how the world turns out. For instance, one town... if you don't recruit a certain character, the town perishes and the character, who is normally good, turns evil. I like the charm of the Lunar series, which makes likeable characters and a lively world of constantly changing NPCs and things to do. I'm a huge fan of post-game bonus so there is always more to accomplish. On that note, there are bonus dungeons and New Game +. Finally, I've included two hidden characters, one which helps unlock an ending for another character and another which is useable in New Game + only for a unique second run through.
For music my main inspiration was Seether, so expect to hear a lot of them. I also use Cold's music in all my projects. :) I apologize in advance for those that don't like metal/alternative. There's going to be original music, instrumental work and other work from various artists, too.
What I want to do with this game is bring my story to life and give everyone something enjoyable to play. My main focus IS the characters, then story, then gameplay, but it will not be the simple "mash x" the average gamer is accustomed to.
Features and the World: + The four planes have merged into one new world called Perception. You must traverse forests, deserts, continents, ect. to find the reason for your arrival in this strange world. There is plenty to see and do. If you scavenge homes, towns, and dungeons, you can find many things to help you on your journey and help you solve the mysteries of Perception.
+ Choices effect many things in the game, such as your relationships with your allies (and their relationships with each other) which lead to multiple endings, up to 182 pairings and 13 characters (8 recruitable per playthrough for now... might make all recruitable, 11 characters + 2 hidden characters) adds to replay value. Some characters and towns will flourish or die depending on your choices. This includes NPCs who are affected by the world as events happen.
+ A dating system which lets you know your progress by visiting the Oracle in town. Good relationships earn you hidden techniques, talents, rare items/armor/weapons/ect. Talk to your friends while exploring towns and hear what they have to say-- earn enough AP (affection points) and you can go on a date at the cafe and get their ending!
+ A collesium where you can play mini-games and battle new and old enemies. Collect BP (bounty points) to get hidden skills and techniques, rare items/armor/weapons/ect.
+ Voice acting (if I can get some actors together). I'd like to include this for battles too with random opening/ending clips, but not sure if that's possible.
+ Turn based battle system / side view with several elemental properties (Holy, Necro/Dark, Pyro/Fire, AquaIce/water and ice, Geo/earth, wind, electric, grass ect., Cyba/robotic or electronic element) and status effects. I plan to make this very in depth as far as strategy, given time. Also, I'm using animated sprites for the battle system so everything looks vibrant and alive.
+ Several hidden dungeons which expand on your allies' stories and challenge you as a player.
+ Lots of hidden items to collect including bromides (art of your allies), relics (which unlock EX skills, dungeons, and new dates). Talk to the Quest Keeper to find them all and if you're persistent, learn her backstory too.
+ An epic story of what it means to live and die, regret, and making amends with a unique cast of characters in terms of personalities, abilites, and weapons. Each character has a unique magic affinity and weapon that can make or break battles, but all will be possible to get by with your favorite team. You slowly unlock each characters backstory and their connection to Perception.
+ Hand drawn artwork for faces, portraits, and an opening sequence (scrapped for the moment); unique monsters and battle sprites. (Hand drawn stuff will be added last, but there are original faces/sprites for most characters, and eventually NPCs.)
+ A soundtrack with a mixture of video game tracks and alternative rock. I'm considering custom music, but I don't want it to sound out of place since most inclusions of music in this project are homages or personal reasons for doing so.
+ Technique Equip: Players must decide carefully what techs to bring into battle with the slot system.
+ Talents that your entire party can learn by collecting books, doing quests, and more, to aid with Item Creation and Cooking.
+ Tales style "titles" change as the story or relationships progress.
+ All scripts will be given credit in-game.
Matthew Age: 17 Weapons: Glaives and Lances Affinity: Holy, then Necro Description: Matthew is a troubled boy who just wants to find out why he's been dragged into this strange world, aka how he died. He is softspoken (leaving the player to determine much of his personality) and starts off as somewhat of a pessimist, but around others is where his personality really shines. He's loyal, determined, sarcastic, and sometimes womanizing when he finds his comfort zone. He always puts everyone else, good or bad, above himself. Family is also very important to him which plays a major role in the plot later on as you find his mother, father, and sister have also been dragged into this world too. He also wonders where he fits in in this world as he is not like the humans around towns, nor is he one of the many races, angel, demon, ect.
ShindoW Age: 25 Weapons: Handguns Affinity: AquaIce Description: ShindoW is one of Matthew's friends from his past. She is part of the rebel group called the Charcoal Feathers who aim to restore the world to it's once peaceful state. She can come off as a very cold person, but deep down she is weak and haunted by a past she couldn't even shake when she was alive, leading to her suicide (now evident by her punishment-- a gun bolted into her right hand and the scar across her left eye and undersized wings). Now, she is paying the price and joins Matthew in his quest to find his friends as she looks for her own reasons, namely, to find her little brother who was murdered when ShindoW was only ten.
Angel Age: 20s Weapons: Rods Affinity: Holy Description: Angel is a stubborn, somewhat naive girl with a love for cooking. Although she takes the form of an angel, she was a witch in life. She was also ShindoW's true love whose life was cut short at the age of 15. She now runs a restaraunt in Perception, making the best of what's she was given. She has a temper (especially around Scott who is constantly hitting on her) and has a love for adventure. She's mostly shy and kind, though, which was what drew ShindoW to her.
Meloni Age: 40s Weapons: Swords Affinity: Pyro Description: Meloni is newly awakened like Matthew. He was a cop in his past life and that carries on into his new persona of Sandalphon, the ruler of a small desert kingdom with a great army. Reincarnated into this great angel, he can easily uphold his values of what is right and using any means to make things just. He serves as a mentor to Matthew, even having been involved with the boy's childhood to a degree. Although he keeps the reason secret to protect Matthew, it may end up biting him later. He was a father to ShindoW and they in turn have their own issues with one another that need resolving, such as ShindoW's early leave in life. He also has family ties to this world, as he is the one responsible for the death of his own parents when he was alive.
Scott Age: 30s Weapons: Knives Affinity: Necro, then Holy Description: Scott is ShindoW's brother and used to be a famous musician turned serial killer. Matthew once idolized him. Meloni was the cop assigned to Scott's case which eventually resulted in Scott's death. He is found in his own hide away in the Jungle of Jericho in Adelphos, a building of rain and gloom. All of his siblings gone in life and his regrets for many actions give him what would appear to be a depressed demeanor, but he hides it with what's left of his insanity: sarcasm, womanizing, and his skill with a knife. He is almost never seen not smoking, a habit carried over from life.
Star / Melody Age: Unknown Weapons: Dolls Description: Star, also known as Melody when she lost her memory, was once Scott's first true love. When he chose his sister over her, she sought him out and ended up being one of his final victims. She is now wandering the world of Perception seeking a boyfriend alongside her pet panda, Mr. Bubblesworthington, who also has a camera installed inside him. When she is found in the Tri-Arc Ruins, she is searching for the love of her life, but who that is is up to the player to decide. Star can also lead the group to her hometown, a large hidden village of Drag-Ons, dragon like people who need an heir.
Meru Age: 16 Weapons: Staves, Wands Affinity: All magic Description: Meru is one of Matthew's friends from the present. She is infatuated with him and holds herself to very high standards. She can be very moody, but proper. She only wants to be perfect in every sense, as her aunt taught her to be. When Matthew tries to convince her to return home she declines, relishing her place as queen of the Dome Kingdom. However, her bulemia in life is catching up to her in the form of wraiths that haunt her every move. If she can't overcome her own self image, she may be taken alive by the darkness in Perception. This is only made worse when she discovers her aunt is the second most powerful devil in Perception, making her choose between her old ways of selfishness or her newfound ways of true happiness.
Pirro Age: 16 Weapons: Spice Bottles Affinity: None Description: Pirro, a slightly chubby boy with a major crush on Meru and Matthew's best friend, is found inside Meru's castle, locked in one of her dungeons. He has some bad past with Matthew, but puts it aside when they work together to try and convince Meru to join them, to go back to the lives they miss. Pirro hides his seriousness under a comic relief persona. He is quick on his feet, though, finding a job as a traveling spice salesman so he could travel Perception to find Meru. He thinks a lot about the "now", rather than the future.
Dream Weapons: Scythes Affinity: Necro Description: Dream is the Valkyrie's loyal friend, a reaper. Reapers are beings who can transform between humans, a black dragon, or a raven. They guide the dead and provide companionship during limbo. Dream is calm, collected, but optimistic. He has a hatred for witches because one destroyed his village, nearly exterminating his people, and this is where his anger shines. Otherwise, he is very heartfelt and tries to help the people of Perception return to normal by helping lead the resistance.
Olivar Weapons: Lazer Affinity: Cyba Description: Olivar is an orange tabby transformed by the demons' technology. He is now able to fly and communicate with others. He is looking for his "Mom", a girl named Alice. He seems to recognize several of the characters, albiet under different circumstances-- from another dimension! He's lazy and loves to eat, but is a valuable asset in battle due to his Cybamancing.
Duckie Weapons: Tarot Description: Duckie is Matthew's little sister. Due to circumstances unknown she is also in this world, seeking her brother. She seems to have an unnatural attraction to him that he despises and Duckie wants nothing more to grow up too fast into a woman her family can appreciate, rather than a kid that can't do anything. Her discovery of what she is and how she ties to this world is a major plot twist. She is also very difficult to recruit and aids in a further understanding of the plot. Duckie is spunky and obscessed with the morbid.
*there are 2 secret characters I won't reveal here ^^ One is a werewolf, the other is a time/dimension traveler.
Some of the Antagonists:
??? Affinity: Cyba Description: A mysterious figure who appeared in Perception not long before our hero. He is driven by his own need to find someone close to him, but she has been dismantled in this world. Everything he does is to find her and bring her back home with him to the world of the living, even if it means destroying everything so they can meet again. He lets the devils and rogue angels do as they please as long as it doesn't interfere with his goal and they help him.
Halloway/Belial Description: A psychiatrist, burned alive by one of her previous patients, is now Belial, one of the greatest demons. She controls the majority of the Order and is also Meru's aunt. She is a perfectionist, seductress, and won't hesitate to correct you on anything. She is a know it all with the power to do it all and she seeks ultimate popularity and power in this world she is free to shape as her own while Lucifer is away (he has gone through the broken seal of Gehenna to earth for his own plans).
Tidus/Raphael Description: Once a great angel of healing, this laid back angel has joined the Order for reasons unknown. He even helps in the plot to destroy Sandalphon upon his awakening, however he also helps the group through some tough situations. It is unclear which side he is on or if he's just a double agent. His best friend is fellow demon, Leviathan, whom they are often seen together cracking jokes while carrying out Belial's plans.
Ronald/Leviathan A snake like man who loves to tell jokes and stories. Matthew and the gang first meet him in the Ophan Prison Ruins, where he tells them of his destructive power. He appears laid back, but powerful and is often seen with a cigar.
Gakuto/Lucifer Michael's older brother and lord of the demons. His goals are unclear. He seems very manipulative yet savvy. When he isn't embracing the rich life, he's ordering people around.
Kurdt/Michael Description: He originally found ShindoW when she arrived in Perception and let her free. He seems to be the most apathetic angel, yet he wants good to win over evil. He follows his brother because they are brothers and nothing else.
Inodus A lowly servant of Lucifer, lover to Exodus.
Exodus A lowly servant of Lucifer, lover to Inodus. Together they set the stage in motion.
DEMO: Progress: 80%, working on parallax maps. Beta testing: Sometime this week! Maps: 100% for the demo, although some remained unparallaxed that will be fixed later. Eventing complete. Items, Skills 95% complete. Dating system is active! Quests are active! Battle voices are active (demo only)!
Recruitment: + Sprite touch ups: I'm average at spriting... I'd like someone to touch up things like face portraits, enemy sprites, and battle sprites.
+ Voice actors: Katvara, Starmus I need several voice actors (right now only for 11 characters). If you could post a sample of your work, that would be great and we can discuss which character / characters you could do.
+ Composer: goregrith666 I'm looking for someone who can do a mix of alternative rock and classical sounds. I also enjoy flutes, violins, harps, ect. If you've ever played games like Star Ocean / Tales, Chrono Cross, or Nier, then you can get a good idea. I have one on board but would enjoy a back up composer in case of emergencies. :)
+ Beta testers: MattG, Starmus, Katvara, and Itachi. I need people to test for glitches and battle balancing. This ranges from making sure changed names appear correctly in the text to making sure enemies don't kill you in 3 hits. I do some of this testing myself, in fact, a majority of it, but there's always someone out there who thinks different and can catch things I missed. Closed!
Any help is much appreciated! Thank you
Critique is welcomed! However, please keep in mind that this is something I've been working on alone for about a year. I'm willing to implement any critique or critism! I'm hoping to convert to parallax mapping soon.
This post has been edited by Aya_Vectra: May 10 2012, 04:03 PM
Looks interesting, and the many endings looks like an intriguing feature. Puppetoffate was spot on with his analysis, as well - the maps could use a bit 'more'. In my experience, you can never make a map too busy, as long as the player can still easily maneuver throughout the map in question.
I'll download and play it a bit later and give you more in-depth feedback.
Thanks ^^ I'll go ahead and add something to the maps then and get some more screenshots up. I'm working on getting the artwork of the characters up that's in full color.
I don't have a demo just yet, but I'll try to get one out this week. I'm worried my story starts off a bit slow, but hopefully adding some liveliness to the town will help immerse the player better. ^^
I look forward to hearing your opinions~ Any help is appreciated
Looks interesting I'll keep an eye out for the demo. Maybe you could add a bit more to the Jeruel sands map? Looks a bit bare at the moment. Also in the cafe that market stall looks like it belongs outside.
Thanks Mirage88 ^^ I hope to get a demo out soon. I'm working to make some of the Quests availible and get the battle system running. ^^ The Jeruel Sands map is supposed to be bare to add confusion, but there are variations in the different maps once in awhile to give a hint I think the Cafe market thing was originally intended to be outside, but I liked how it looked inside, like a gift shop, which is what it is
Thanks for the feedback. I left feedback in your thread right before checking this one. ^^
This looks really nice so far. Cheers for going the extra mile with the whole different endings thing. Yeah, the mapping seems a bit bare but that's been brought up before so besides that it's looking perfect.
I'm honored, Grandma Deb. I can't wait to get my writing skills out there more!
As for the tileset... I'm not too sure where I got it. It's been a long time and unfortunetly I didn't save the name/creator. I do still have the tileset, if interested. Sorry for the trouble on that one... I have so many tiles from years ago when I didn't save names in the file (and if I did, then my computer was wiped and all I had was my game file with TileD as the name, for example) like I do now, for credit reasons of course. If I find out, I'll be sure to let you know!