Author Topic: Until The Final Blade Falls  (Read 3535 times)

Offline GrimTrigger

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Until The Final Blade Falls
« on: May 26, 2012, 03:29:28 AM »
Until The Final Blade Falls

Story

The land of Asvern had been the dominant military power in the north for over 300 years. The empire suddenly crumbled under the stress of financial collapse, and the assassination of its King, Lord Ragnar II. Seizing upon this moment of weakness, a fraction of the Asveri Kingdom declared its independence. This would become the land of Svalgard, a mountainous, rugged region full of caves, cliffs and waterfalls. Ragnar II's son was accussed of being weak compared to this father, and thus made Svalgard's recapture his personal mission. Despite proclaiming to his court the war would be a simple matter, the struggle dragged on for years. This debacle nearly brought the Asveri people to complete revolution do to its unpopularity. The young king, not wishing to be assassinated himself, officially declared the war over after 4 years of brutal fighting. The rough terrain and raw determination of the rebels proved to be too much for a severely weakened Asveri military to capture. Ragnar III never lets go of the resentment building in his heart for Svalgard, but admits the region is forever lost. A tenuous peace treaty was drawn up, and both sides agree to respect newly drawn up borders.

The story begins one year after the failed first invasion, high in the hills of Svalgard, near the town of Himilda.  A young man named Sven is cooking breakfast, and reflecting on his past, when an old friend knocks on the door, bearing troubling news. Tales of Sven's courage and strength win the hearts of people both young and old as he continues his journey, yet he ultimately wrangles with a choice that could destroy everything he holds dear

Screenshots:

Waterfall Bridge Crossing
(click to show/hide)

Forest Clearing
(click to show/hide)

City at Night
(click to show/hide)

City at Day
(click to show/hide)

Cutscene
(click to show/hide)

Mountain Map (Large)
(click to show/hide)





Characters:

Sven
(click to show/hide)

Fritjof
(click to show/hide)

Raven
(click to show/hide)

Ivar
(click to show/hide)

Astrid
(click to show/hide)

Magnus
(click to show/hide)

More characters will be met throughout the story!



Features

>Large world full of optional dungeons, mountains, forests and oceans to explore.
>Class  choices for all characters (choosing different strengths and weaknesses.)
>Fast travel system to quickly access major cities and locations.
>Relationship system (friendship, dating, etc.)
>Job based economy (perform tasks for money, collecting loot for cash will be slow.)
>Day and Night system
>Lively cities with plenty of reasons to revisit (and active night life!)
>Less restrictive world to explore

Status

Demo: None atm, but working on it.
Mapping: 50% complete
Storyline: 75% complete
System (battle, items, enemies, etc) 25%

Credits:

Game: GrimTrigger

Scripts: Blizzard, Ryex, ForeverZer0, Game_Guy, Aqua

Resources: RTP, various sites, large amount of personal edits.

***Special thank you to everyone who gives me feedback in the forums***

*Credit to Winkio for enhancing the game story description.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2012, 03:53:18 AM by GrimTrigger »
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Offline GrimTrigger

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Re: Until The Final Blade Falls
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2012, 02:07:31 AM »
Feels free to leave any comments regarding the story premise, the characters, w/e. I love hearing people's opinions, the more brutally honest, the better. Have at it.

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Offline winkio

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Re: Until The Final Blade Falls
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2012, 02:56:31 AM »
Story:

It's great, I enjoyed reading it, until I read the last two sentences.  Those sentences casually list the elements of the plot, in such stark contrast to everything you have leading up to that point, it makes your teaser end on a sour note.  I would try to keep the personal narrative going, and keep the glimpse of the future plot centered on Sven.  This sounds odd at first, because the sentences I'm talking about already include Sven.  The difference is that in your current narrative, Sven ends up being passive - things happen to him, and he doesn't seem to do much of anything.  Instead, try to use action verbs to convey a sense of Sven being active in the plot of the game.

For example, instead of

Quote
He will gain many followers, both old and young, and be faced with a choice that could destroy everything he holds dear

try something like

Quote
Sven's courage and strength win the hearts of people both young and old as he continues his journey, yet he ultimately wrangles with a choice that could destroy everything he holds dear


Screenshots:

The ones you have look really good.  I'd say the weakest is probably the cutscene or the city.  You could also include screenshots of battles, minigames, etc. if you have that worked out yet.


Characters:

You have a good cast of heroes that should allow you to develop some great exchanges and interplay as they develop through the game.  I'd be interested to see any villains or other important characters, even something like a special merchant that runs an underground trading market across the border.


Features:

Class choices can be a very good thing, but they are sometimes hard to balance.  In my opinion, it is more important to focus on different playstyles instead of different strengths and weaknesses.  The difference is that there is usually an optimal combination of strengths and weaknesses that is better than the others and may serve only to change the difficulty of the game, not necessarily the experience.  Focusing on different playstyles is guaranteed to change the experience and also gives you more control over the difficulty for each class.

Day night systems have a lot of potential for packing content into an area, but they can also be the cause of some frustration if you aren't careful.  Majora's mask had the song of double time to skip around to the time needed to perform a quest.  Skyward sword did a much simplified version where you could change from day to night by walking into any building and sleeping on a bed.  Whatever you come up with, think of something that will help players navigate time more easily.

Looks pretty good so far, and if you have 50% mapping done, then I look forward to seeing that demo!

Offline GrimTrigger

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Re: Until The Final Blade Falls
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2012, 03:51:01 AM »
@Winkio

I agree, that last bit was shoddy at best. Sounds much better the way you mentioned it.

Mapping - The forest cutscene isn't in a very scenic place. I suppose i could choose a more visually pleasing place to stop and have a conversation. As far as the city goes, I'm still working on it, but I wanted to show the general layout. I'll diversify it as I get around to including the city in the story.

Characters - I like my characters a lot, and I spend a lot of time letting the player get to know them. They are all very dynamic characters, and will not be the same people at the end of the game. I'm working on villains at the moment.

Here's what I have so far (no facesets yet)

Ragnar III

Young, petulant monarch of Asvern. Has an almost religious devotion to his late father's legacy, and seeks "impress" him in all his actions. Bitter towards the Svalgard region, he is secretly activating underground movements to destabilize and weaken the new country. A Machiavellian-style leader, he exhibits little compassion and sympathy to his rivals. In his short reign, he has managed to grievously harm many of his father's political relationships with foriegn countries, leaving Asvern with few friends on the world stage.

Garmund the Dragon's Eye

Know usually as Garmund, he was given the title "Dragon's Eye" for his disturbingly violent gaze. He served in the war on the Svalgardi side as one of the Silver Bearers, the five strongest fighters of the resistance. (Silver Bearer -a kenning to describe the shining mail armor they wore.) Ranked second, he fought valiantly, but over time became more and more bloodthirsty. Eventually Waels, the first rank, deemed him unworthy of service after Garmund beheaded several prisoners of war to text his new sword. Garmund managed to defeat Waels, but was wounded by the remaining Silver Bearers before he could hand a killing blow. Injured, he defected to the Asveri side, and was last thought to be growing in power. Commonly referred to as the "Defector" by veterans.

Randal

Leader of an underground Asveri crime syndicate who is pushing into Svalgardi territory as a result of increased Asveri militarization and patrolling. Dealing mostly in the sale of an illegal drug called Galdurvin, which allows non-mages to gain strong magic, but over time can leave the user in a permanent state of psychosis. It also induces a highly potent sense of euphoria. Seems to be incredibly knowledgeable in terms of current events, political dealings, and ancient history. Cares little for the average person, he dubs anyone not immediately useful to him as "Boskap" (cattle.)

Inga

Astrid's twin sister, and high-ranked demoness in her clan. A natural genius in both ice-magic and armed combat. Unlike Astrid, Inga is very pleasant to strangers, but she hides a her true intentions to almost everyone. Having been told her whole life how talented she is (while simultaneously seeing how weak Astrid was) she tends to be very unsympathetic to those who lack ability. She desires to lead the Ice Demon Clan, a master the forbidden art of Summoning.
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Offline GrimTrigger

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Re: Until The Final Blade Falls
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2012, 04:16:15 AM »
Story:

Features:

Class choices can be a very good thing, but they are sometimes hard to balance.  In my opinion, it is more important to focus on different playstyles instead of different strengths and weaknesses.  The difference is that there is usually an optimal combination of strengths and weaknesses that is better than the others and may serve only to change the difficulty of the game, not necessarily the experience.  Focusing on different playstyles is guaranteed to change the experience and also gives you more control over the difficulty for each class.

Day night systems have a lot of potential for packing content into an area, but they can also be the cause of some frustration if you aren't careful.  Majora's mask had the song of double time to skip around to the time needed to perform a quest.  Skyward sword did a much simplified version where you could change from day to night by walking into any building and sleeping on a bed.  Whatever you come up with, think of something that will help players navigate time more easily.


Classes:

I set up the system to work like this:

At level 20, each character is elidgible for a class promotion. An example would be Ivar. He can promote from Archer to either Sniper or Ranger.

Base [Archer] (lvl 1-19) Basic ranged attacks, minor magic enhanced arrows.

--------------------------------------------------------------
Sniper (20-99) Powerful single shot, armor piercing attacks (very SP draining), camo skill (avoid targeting) and First strike ability.
--Game Desc: "After 1000s of succesful shots, the archer masters his craft, and becomes a true marksman. Snipers can hit foes for huge amounts of damage a limited number of times, and can remain hidden from sight."

Ranger (20-99) Gains 10% HP/SP. Specialized counters for common enemies (beast, bird, human), minor camo skill, and minor recovery skills.
--Game Desc: "After years in the field surviving both warfare and wilderness, an Archer becomes a Ranger. These talented fighters have learned a myriad of skills that allow them to survive a multitude of difficult situations, as well as counter many kinds of enemies."

--------------------------------------------------------------

The idea behind all my class choices is to not have each character fully able to handle every situation, such that you will have to use the party swap in battle often to fight. Also, you will need to chose classes that fit your play style. If you favor all out offense, picking Ranger might not be your best choice, as Snipers can hit almost twice as hard. Likewise, if your a technical player (like me) and favor complex fighting strategy, Ranger could prove useful, as they can aid other characters, as well as survive and still deal damage.


Day/Night

This fits in naturally with my game. You can sleep in beds, inns, etc and select either 12 hours pass, 6, 3, or 1. Shops, along with most homes shut down, and taverns/nightclubs open up. The street lights are tied to this, as well as some quests. I even edited most of the battle backs so that the TINT_SCREEN function of ATES would look more natural. (The grassland battle back, for example, has the sky still to bright, so I redid the sky, added stars, etc.)

Day
(click to show/hide)

Night
(click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: May 30, 2012, 04:32:01 AM by GrimTrigger »
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Offline winkio

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Re: Until The Final Blade Falls
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2012, 05:52:52 AM »
I like each of the villains as an individual character, they each have interesting motivations and flaws.  However, as a group, they seem uncoordinated, with no leadership and no chain of command.  That could be intentional, and could be a key point in the game, but if not, try working in either a more definite chain of command or more subcommanders/generals/henchmen/underlings for these characters to work with.

The classes seem good, but I would almost argue that Ranger is just the slightly safe version of the Sniper.  The ranger still deals a ton of damage if you pick the right specialized counter to use, and just has better defensive capabilities.  While that could work, I think it is a little too narrow of a choice.  I have a suggestion, you can take it or leave it, it's just for the purpose of demonstration:

Sniper: High damage output, many special attacks that exploit enemy weaknesses, camo skill, high chance of critical hit.  The role of the sniper is to deal as much damage as possible and neutralize high priority targets, but this class is dependent on a support or healer class, as it has almost no defensive capabilities.  The sniper is inspired by a professional army archer.

Ranger: High speed, medium damage output, high defense with special attacks that inflict status effects on enemies (poison arrow, crippling arrow), or support allies (small healing, speed buff, etc.).  The role of the ranger is to weaken foes at the start of the battle, and then both provide support to allies and finish off enemies during a battle.  The ranger is inspired by a survival hunter in the wilderness.

So you can see that one the sniper option ends the battle quickly, but is unsafe and may die easily.  The ranger option, on the other hand, will make battles take longer, but is able to minimize the damage the party takes by inflicting status effects on the enemy and supporting allies, making it the much safer option.

You seem to have day and night under control, and the screenshots look really good.

Offline GrimTrigger

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Re: Until The Final Blade Falls
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2012, 06:53:36 AM »
I like each of the villains as an individual character, they each have interesting motivations and flaws.  However, as a group, they seem uncoordinated, with no leadership and no chain of command.  That could be intentional, and could be a key point in the game, but if not, try working in either a more definite chain of command or more subcommanders/generals/henchmen/underlings for these characters to work with.

The classes seem good, but I would almost argue that Ranger is just the slightly safe version of the Sniper.  The ranger still deals a ton of damage if you pick the right specialized counter to use, and just has better defensive capabilities.  While that could work, I think it is a little too narrow of a choice.  I have a suggestion, you can take it or leave it, it's just for the purpose of demonstration:

Sniper: High damage output, many special attacks that exploit enemy weaknesses, camo skill, high chance of critical hit.  The role of the sniper is to deal as much damage as possible and neutralize high priority targets, but this class is dependent on a support or healer class, as it has almost no defensive capabilities.  The sniper is inspired by a professional army archer.

Ranger: High speed, medium damage output, high defense with special attacks that inflict status effects on enemies (poison arrow, crippling arrow), or support allies (small healing, speed buff, etc.).  The role of the ranger is to weaken foes at the start of the battle, and then both provide support to allies and finish off enemies during a battle.  The ranger is inspired by a survival hunter in the wilderness.

So you can see that one the sniper option ends the battle quickly, but is unsafe and may die easily.  The ranger option, on the other hand, will make battles take longer, but is able to minimize the damage the party takes by inflicting status effects on the enemy and supporting allies, making it the much safer option.

You seem to have day and night under control, and the screenshots look really good.

Villians - The first guy is the main antagonist, but doesn't play a direct role in making the player's life difficult until a some major event's take place.

Garmund and Randal actually become allies, and the drug Randal is supplying is found out to be a major reason why Garmund becomes a villian in the first place. Randal is sort of a non-combative villain, in that he doesn't fight you....he gets people to do that for you. Probably should have mentioned that....

Inga is a late game villian.


Classes - What you mentioned about the classes is pretty accurate to what I was hoping to achieve. You articulated what I was trying to much better than I did. The "Glass Cannon vs Survivalist" dichotomy. Your sentiment "The sniper is inspired by a professional army archer...The ranger is inspired by a survival hunter in the wilderness" is spot on with what I was going for.

I have another system for classes, specifically for the Hero. It's set up different, and kind of follows Mass Effects player choice system. When presented with a choice, the manner in which you respond helps to shape the character you become. I have variables that track 3 separate traits, (Hero, Rogue, Tactician). These variables get a weighted increase defined by the following example:

Trait: Rogue
Casual Dialogue: +1-2pts
Important Dialogue: +5-10pts
Actions: 20-30pts.

This allows the game to track what kind of person the player identifies with based on choice. If you prefer to handle things in a cut-throat, bad-ass, babe-charming manner, then your character's dialogue and eventual class changes to match.

The three classes are: Champion, Warlord, General

Champion is a team based class that is high survivability with party buffs. This is the leadership class, and reflects teamwork. Guards and town-folk may offer you praise and assistance, and your rewards become tailored to fit a champion. To earn this class, you'll be doing a lot of thankless jobs, self-sacrifice, and braving danger for the sake of "doing the right thing." Stats align closer to a tank.


Warlord is a combat-heavy class, and is high damage out-put. Only personal buffs. This class is more self-centered and reflects a more player who favors using both infectious charm and/or force to solve problems. Female NPCs may support you more, and some enemies may opt-out of fighting you. Guards won't trust you as much however.  To gain this class, you basically will have to refuse to take **** from anyone. Stats align closer to a DPS machine.

Tactician is a class that is balanced, and forward thinking. Many status changing skills, healing, time based attacks, and also gains dodge. This class reflects players who choose to use strategy to solve problems, and rely on tactics to defeat opponents. Player will gain this class by choosing the often the less obvious but more advantageous route.  Unlike the other two classes, this one grants you normal status with most NPCs, but allows you access to a higher degree of intelligence gathering (via Raven) than the other two. This provides addition info which can allow you do beat foes without level grinding.




« Last Edit: May 30, 2012, 06:56:11 AM by GrimTrigger »
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Offline winkio

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Re: Until The Final Blade Falls
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2012, 07:34:19 AM »
Nice, the classes seem like they will be really fun, and will definitely change the experience of the game, even outside of battles.  Definitely looking forward to the demo :)

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Re: Until The Final Blade Falls
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2012, 07:49:01 AM »
I noticed that you have a similar mapping style to mine. I like to focus on adding details to the terrain rather than making the map look nice using lots and lots of details. I like that.

I haven't taken a deeper look at the game, but it looks worthwhile. Keep up the good work.
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Offline GrimTrigger

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Re: Until The Final Blade Falls
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2012, 06:33:55 PM »
I noticed that you have a similar mapping style to mine. I like to focus on adding details to the terrain rather than making the map look nice using lots and lots of details. I like that.

I haven't taken a deeper look at the game, but it looks worthwhile. Keep up the good work.

 My style of mapping its to create large scenic environments, trying to reflect natural formations as best I can. My maps are large so by default they have lots of details.  I spend most of my time breaking  straight lines in the terrain, layering trees, and adding lots of ground cover (various grasses, plants, etc). I follow a general rule that the cells closest to road and settlements have smaller plants and low density vegetation, and increase the density of trees as one moves away from the beaten path.

I preform a test when making a wilderness map. I use a fill tool in the creator to erase the Roads on my map, then play test it. If I get a general sense of directionality based on tree clearings and geography, I know the map will feel natural and pleas.ing to wander though.

Personally I enjoy making maps. I like to flesh out whole regions before I even start working on quests and events to occupy them. I tend to  reuse locations so I don't mind spending time making each map high quality.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2012, 06:52:54 PM by GrimTrigger »
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Offline SquareMan

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Re: Until The Final Blade Falls
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2012, 05:42:04 AM »
Looking forward to the demo, I think this will turn out to be a great game in the end.
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Re: Until The Final Blade Falls
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2012, 08:26:55 PM »
Wow, looking good so far, especially the mapping. You're a pretty good mapper  ;)

Looking forward for the demo.
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