Well, I've had a chance to spend a bit more time working on this secret side project, and I have a few more things to share.
1) I'm not going to do battles.
After thinking about it long and hard, I've decided against a battle system. It's something that makes sense story-wise. It also allows me to focus on what I want to achieve with this project - which is to have emphasis on gameplay and exploration.
In that sense, this will be more likely closer to the adventure genre then a classic rpg.
2) There are 4 separate elements I'm going to focus on.
- Various quests, most of which will be chosen by the player instead of being introduced in a completely linear fashion. There will still be a degree of linearity, as I don't want to tackle a completely open world. But I want to give you more to do than just follow a straight path from A to B.
- Synthesis system, primarily cooking and alchemy. This will involve gathering resources, so it should encourage exploration.
- Puzzles. I'm not going to go with complex puzzles, mind you. Mostly it will be using one or two simple concepts and making use of field skills/items.
- Classic adventure play. Things like fetch item X to advance through area, or use Y skill to open up the path.
3) I have waaaay too many ideas and way too many ways to add features. I want the project to be simple, but what I've planned is already more complex than what I'd imagined. So, I'm going to have to cut out some things.
One of the things I really wanted to do was art scenes for the intro and the endings. But there's a total of 10 endings, each of which would require at least one picture. And the intro would require at least 3. While 13 pictures isn't a gigantic amount, it's still way more than I'd be comfortable requesting from any one artist.
Thankfully, pictures are easy to add, so I can always change my mind and add them in at a later time. Completing this game will still take some time, so maybe the art bug will bite me and I'll have a bout of motivation.
That's all for now, folks. I will try to update again soon and let you all know how I'm doing.