In the photo above, Gilda and Leon sleeping "head to head" :)
I was hoping to announce the start of the beta pre-order for my fantasy RPG "Loren The Amazon Princess" but alas, I am going to delay it by a few weeks. I'm hoping by mid of February to have the full chapter 1 finished.
Below some screens of the vendor (WIP) and the battle with a 99% final layout:What's left ?
You might ask what exactly is missing? The biggest part of the game is done, but there are a lots of small things missing. To be clear I could release the beta at the end of this month, but it would miss a several interesting features like:
- working vendor - the vendor code is still half-done, and even if the coder probably could finish it in 3 days, it would be greatly untested. Also I would need to define the vendors inventory, check what kind of items they might have available, and so on!
- side quests - I'm thinking what to have as side quests. In the game, there are already side-quests but they appear later in the game, in particular in the expansion when you can choose if to recruit Sauzer, Mesphit and Chambara. I want to add a few more, nothing complex since the game is already VERY long, but still...
- map system - it will be a simple map system like Planet Stronghold (nothing complex) but still I am missing the art and good part of implementation (like random encounters, and so on)
- battle effects - there are SOME battle effects done (nothing fancy!) but when you have 80+ skills to do, it starts to be a LOONG task. I don't want to spend much time on this, because it doesn't make sense to make lots of efforts for a 1-2 second animation, but still I don't want it to look like a total crap :D
So as you can see, nothing really ESSENTIAL to the game, but I don't want to rush out the beta, and have people test an already outdated version, since I will add most of the things above.
What about the grinding?
The term grinding, as defined by Wikipedia:
"Grinding is a term used in video gaming to describe the process of engaging in repetitive and/or boring tasks not pertaining to the story line of the game. The most common usage is in the context of MMORPGs in which it is often necessary for a character to repeatedly kill AI-controlled monsters, using basically the same strategy over again to advance their character level to be able to access newer content."
As you might know, I make heavy story-based games. However, Loren is the first game that has a very solid RPG gameplay. It's much deeper, detailed and also complex than Planet Stronghold. And you can reach up to level 30 (I decided to lower the level cap from level 60 !).
I know that some people hate grinding, while other consider it an essential part of RPGs. Of course, not an excessive grinding, but if the battle is well done, it's cool to kill monsters to gain more experience and unlock new skills.
In my case though, it also helps the game. As much as I can test it, and even if I offer different difficulty levels, I cannot know every single player skills. So even if I give out more experience points at Easy difficulty level, I cannot know if it will be enough for everyone to win the battle with Jul in chapter 4 of the game (it will be a hard battle!).
A solution is to leave some zones of the map with "wandering monsters", so that if the player is stuck in a battle and cannot seem to win it, he can visit those places and fight some grinding battles to gain more experience and level up. As consequence, he can retry the previous battle but with a strongest party, increasing the chances of winning.
I think done this way, grinding is not a bad thing anymore, but is a sort of "approved cheat mode". You can win most battles at your selected difficulty level? Good. You can't? Try playing in a easier mode. You still cannot win that specific battle? Try grinding a bit, and then come back with a strongest party and kick the enemy's ass!
The other games
I know recently I'm completely absorbed into Loren and haven't updated much the other games progresses. This is because Loren is a very long and complex game to make, and I want to finish it soon. However don't worry, since after it's finished I'll release some new dating/life sim, including Heileen 3 (probably this summer).
Here's a picture of Marie with the "new look". I find her very cute:And she is a romance option ;)