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I am a gamer, an artist and a hobbyist video game designer. When I'm not doodling one resource or another, I love to read books, make paper crafts (cards) and bake yummy goodies.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Week 9: Screenshots and Shops

Let's begin this week's update with a screenshot:
New and improved Burgunda Port (outer)

Redoing Burgunda Port was actually pretty fun. Most of the layout has been kept, but there are a few subtle changes that allowed integration into the revamped world maps and some events I was planning for the future. For example, the building you see at the bottom is a church, and visiting churches is an important part of Penelope's development.

Originally, the way you got extra skills, powerful spells or character upgrades was to be done via dojos. Quests and fights were to give you tokens that you traded in for experience and skills. When I got to eventing the dojos, I realized that it would take a lot of work (and a lot of trouble!) to figure out appropriate costs. If the cost was too low, the player could grind their way into overpowering characters or pick the wrong skills and be forced to grind or start over.

Instead, you get your skills through weapon upgrades and side-quests. Since the battle system allows you to switch your equipment on the fly, I'm no longer worried about the player going into the fight with the wrong set of skills/equipment. This, in turn, should allow for more strategy and easier battle balancing.

New magic store (Burgunda Port)

Doesn't it look like a proper magic store now?

Speaking of stores, I wanted to share what my plans are for shopping in TUAH. As you may have noticed, there isn't a place to spend any money right now. There are two reasons for this:
1) Alistair and the party wouldn't need much of what you'd see in stores. Most stores tend to sell items that are very useful to the average Joe, but they wouldn't be useful in a pinch and they would end up only cluttering the party's bags. For example, a crystal sold in a magic store could be pretty useful in warding off mosquitoes, but it won't protect you from a giant dragon that's bent on making you his midnight snack.
2) There's no consistent way to make money yet. Having a shop filled with great items you can't afford would be just a tease and it may encourage some to spend a lot of needless time grinding.

But I am planning on having ways to make and spend money. As it was already asked on a forum, I'm going to re-post what I said here:
- Certain merchants will barter for their quality wares. Some of them may, for example, trade your health potions and some gold for mana potions. Others will trade tools and recipes for exotic and rare goods. For example, someone may part with their apple pie recipe for a fancy flower vase. Some of these rarities will come from side quests, too.
- You will have the opportunity to hire a blacksmith, a seamstress, an alchemist and a scholar. The crafters will turn raw materials into finished goods and will be able to create special equipment/items. The scholar will research materials and their properties for you as well as tell you where to get them. You won't have to pay any of them, but they may occasionally require you to do a side-quest before they can resume their duties.
- A casino will allow you to spend and/or make money. You will also be able to trade in casino chips for various prizes or open up new side-quests.
- There will be repeatable side-quests that will generate steady money. I'm hoping to integrate several different possibilities: hunting monsters, playing mini-games, delivering items or gathering base resources.
- You will be able to invest in certain things like town development, financing education and scientific discoveries.
- Lastly, in certain shops, you will be able to purchase gifts for your party members. The party member will need to be with you, and there will usually be a little cutscene. They may also display it in their room or occasionally bring it up in conversation.


  1. Now I'm wondering if I should wait until you have everything set and finished before playing another chapter! This is all making me want to cast aside my save file (for I feel I have missed way too much) and just replay it when you get it all out again.

    It's all sounding wonderful and very involved though! Far more involved than I am ever able to do. I cannot wait to play more.

  2. Thanks, Ronnie! Sometimes I wonder if it isn't a little too ambitious, even. There are just layers and layers of parts of the projects.

    Some of the features I mention won't be in until much later in the game, but I definitely wanted to finish working out the details right now. That way, it won't require re-working the early chapters so much and it will help me keep things on track.

    I'm finishing up the revamp of the first two chapters, so I'll make sure to post it ASAP. Along with maybe a partial chapter 3. Since my move was delayed for a few weeks, I'm going to try and use the extra time to make lots of headway on the game.