WIP screenshot of new Seraphine battle screen.
Seraphine: Into The Wind
I have been slowly working on Seraphine in the background for a while, transitioning the game from 640x480 resolution (ouch!!) to 1280x720. This includes a complete overhaul of the battle system, since I created it back in 2008 when I barely knew Python. All variables and information used to be stored in lists ... Yay for learning! Object-oriented coding is so much better, I don't know how I lived without it.
I'm presented with a dilemma while re-creating the battle screen, however. Originally, the skills were just text buttons with their AP cost and an icon symbolizing the character's weapon. But I would like to use graphics to represent the skills as well, as shown in the screenshot at the very top. But it doesn't leave room for the name of the skill, which you would only see when hovering over it. Which you would have to do anyway with either format to see what the skill does. And then I have the choice of making the information in a pop-up that covers up a portion of the screen, or in the top corner of the parchment bar - which wasn't that much of a deal when the game was only 640x480. A lot more distance to travel with your eye in this resolution. Then again, I have the characters arranged all horizontally instead of in a 2 x 2 grid like I did before. Maybe I would have room for more information if I did it that way? Arggh, layout woes!
Anyway, updates to the battle system will include upgrade-able skills. Before, you got a static skill and used it for the whole game. Now you will get experience points which will earn points you can spend into your skills. A skill that had a chance of 30% to blind an enemy can be upgraded to be 50% or more. So now characters won't have similar attacks at differing degrees of intensity but a wide variety of types of attacks that can be grown into stronger skills.
I will also be increasing the number of skills each character can "equip" for battle from five to eight. Six default skills and two slots for skills you can teach them later. Meaning you can find the "Toss Potions" skill by either buying it or as a quest reward and can teach it to any character. Originally the skills would be completely random each battle, because I want the game to operate sort of like a card game, where each character brings a "deck" of skills with them into the fight and you work with the cards you're dealt with. But I will also include the option to hand-select which 4 skills you want to bring.
Also, just as a random note, I think I'm going to change Ere's primary weapon from katars to daggers. It was a weird weapon choice to begin with.
Testing is progressing slowly. I've written more fake forum posts to be generated, as there is definitely a point in the game where new posts start tapering out. I think I will implement a system where the first seven topic posts you get when you start a game aren't always the exact same. Right now, it's the same seven over and over.
Is it bad that I hate my own mini-game? I almost never play the memory match gig mini-game and it's hard to imagine anyone playing it. It's too late in development to start making new mini-games, but I definitely want to do that later on. The wonderful mini-game of just sitting and waiting for a recording session to finish is riveting, I know. What I really want to do is put the memory-match game on the recording session, and create a mini-game for gigs where the game is not playing the gig, but finding the gig. Getting shows as a nobody musician is hard and a mess to schedule. Sure, this bar wants you to play, but that bar is two states over. Now what? It doesn't make sense that you could (potentially) play an arena every Saturday and Sunday every week but not demonstrate any of the mess and fatigue that comes with that. Surely we don't think that they're just playing the same arena over and over in their local town? No way! Not to mention that, when you get bigger, you only go on tour to promote new albums. Should I restrict gig-playing then?
So many things I'm thinking about now that I never touched upon when I first scripted gigs! But coming up with a new system now would definitely be "feature creep" - prolonging the release of the game. So I'm going to have to just put this on the back-burner, like I have with transitioning the game to a widescreen resolution (this is harder than it seems, trust me).
In case you didn't notice, I've added a Fanart page. I will also add a Walkthrough page soon. Already have it written, just don't want spoilers out before the game is.
HappyB will be participating in this year's NaNoRenO again! I (Aleema) will be writing and Starling will be drawing the art. We'll reveal what we're working on as the month progresses, but the game will be set in the same world as Seraphine: Into The Wind and have the theme of "water." Just have to finish outlining the plot by tomorrow where we'll dive right in at full speed!
Due to overwhelming demand, I have to temporarily close my services so that I can focus on the commitments I've already made. I won't have any openings until May. I've also changed my rates so that commercial and non-commercial games are the same price, unless you're doing an art trade with me. I also can afford to be more picky with my clients, so $20 jobs are likely not to be taken. Sorry. :(