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Other Games, Development, & Campaigns => Other Games => Topic started by: Aureus on May 09, 2019, 10:06:15 AM

Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on May 09, 2019, 10:06:15 AM
Greetings! I'm new here and I'm working on an unusual video game of mine!

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/roadwardenitchio02.png)

Everyone knows to stay away from the wilderness. Most people would never risk a lonely journey.

Roadwardens not only accept this struggle, they embrace it. They deliver messages, assist merchants, burn human corpses and, if possible, get rid of beasts and highwaymen.

They live on the road, die young or retire early.

It's a dangerous job, but a respectable one. And it pays well.

Main Features:


You can find more information as well as the free demo on the game's website (https://moralanxietystudio.com/)!


So, what do you think? Will that be fine if I post here future updates? : )
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on May 11, 2019, 08:03:40 AM
I love it when a game slowly moves from place holders to the actual graphics. Here you can see the first part of the game's map - the large objects are icons allowing you to select the area you want to visit. Heavily inspired by Baldur's Gate. ; )

If you think it can still look better, I'll be happy to see your feedback!

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/MAPKA_OLD_VS_NEW.png)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Spinachcat on May 11, 2019, 10:44:21 PM
Very interesting. Looking forward to hear more.

Tell us about...burning human corpses? Is that religious or protection vs. undead?

I am definitely interested in learning about the non-combat adventures, but I do want to murder monsters and bandits. Murder...is fun.

What's the magic level? How supernatural is the setting? Does the Roadwarden cast spells?

Also, is it a Solo RPG? Or does your Roadwarden gain NPC allies?

And real time? Or turn based? Designed for mobile?

Quote
The wilderness is full of dangers and you can trust nobody.

This is the only thing I found odd. Even in Warhammer, the Roadwarden is "wandering civilization" and thus sought out by "good" people living away from town. While its possible some farmers, trappers and traders might turn out to cannibal cultists out of a Rob Zombie flick, there should be trustworthy people for the Roadwarden to encounter, or even via their background, to believe are trustworthy from the get-go.
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on May 12, 2019, 01:59:50 AM
Hi there, Spinachcat!

Quote from: Spinachcat;1087367
Is that religious or protection vs. undead?

It's both! In Viaticum, the game's setting, becoming an undead is a part of the natural cycle. When a human dies, their body becomes an empty shell for the next, artificial soul. Sometimes this "soul" is created by necromancers, but it's not the only or even the most common option. The magical power is extremely present in fogs, and whenever a fog covers a human corpse, it rises. At first it's not a huge danger, but with every fog and every human it kills, it becomes stronger and capable of more human-like functions. Such as making use of tools, comprehending its surroundings and so on.

And just like in the real world most religions encourage to keep the dead bodies away to keep humans safe from the multitude of diseases and scavengers, in Viaticum the most influential religions introduce obligatory cremation.

Quote from: Spinachcat;1087367
Murder...is fun.

I'm sure it can be in the safe environment of video games where nobody gets hurt, but I'm kind of bored of solving all problems through threats and violence. Have you ever played Pillars of Eternity? I like this game a lot, but there's this hilarious quest where you arrive to a village of maybe 40 people, and it turns out there's a dark cult hidden under the ground... Which also includes about 40-50 or more people. And you murder all of them in cold blood just to complete a side quest.

I kind of hate it. : P I'd love to see more RPGs where the violence is a part of the world and is seen as an impactful action, and not the source of entertainment kept away from the actual plot. I don't want the player to kill 25 packs of wolves for no reason at all. But finishing off a single pack that has a cool story behind it and is harassing the village in interesting ways? Now that's what I'm looking for. : P

Quote from: Spinachcat;1087367
What's the magic level? How supernatural is the setting? Does the Roadwarden cast spells?

One of the three classes you can choose from (Warrior, Mage, Scholar) involves low-power spells, such as healing fresh wounds or making artificial light.

I'd say the setting doesn't have a lot of extremely powerful sorcerers in it, but the magic is rather common - just not very advanced. Very few people can never learn how to cast spells - most people can, though they don't have real talent and develop only very simple spells during their lifetime, such as making sparks when they want to lit a fire.

Quote from: Spinachcat;1087367
Also, is it a Solo RPG? Or does your Roadwarden gain NPC allies?

I'm open to make some changes if I decide later on that it has value for the story or makes things more interesting, but I currently expect it to be a solo adventure. Gathering allies is crucial for you, but you don't gather a team.

Quote from: Spinachcat;1087367
And real time? Or turn based?

Definitely turn-based, though turns are kind of hidden.

Quote from: Spinachcat;1087367
Designed for mobile?

I currently develop for Windows - if the game turns out to be a success, I'll be happy to work on some mobile ports.

Quote from: Spinachcat;1087367
there should be trustworthy people for the Roadwarden to encounter, or even via their background, to believe are trustworthy from the get-go.

It's a fair statement, but in this case the PC enters a completely unfamiliar territory. A peninsula that for decades had pretty much no relationships with the closest city (which is a couple of days of dangerous journey away) and doesn't really want to give up its current semi-independent position. I'd say - by being a roadwarden, it's very easy for you to gather people's trust, at least to a point. But you shouldn't expect that everything you hear is honest. People are going to tell you as much as they need to make a good use of you. ; )

If there's anything else that comes to your mind, go ahead! I'm glad I caught your interest.
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on May 18, 2019, 07:57:12 AM
Hello, hello!

It was a busy week and I think I should start writing devlogs about the game's development, highlighting new features and the general progress. I'd like to share the first post like this starting next week. : )

The coolest part of this week, however, was working on the new picture for the game. Do you remember my castle-tavern? I wanted to draw its interiors. The first attempt, which displays the exteriors as well, was a failure. It doesn't allow to show that many details and limits the scope of furniture while also ruining the proportions, even if I'd add buttons allowing to hide and show specific floors.

(https://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/download/file.php?id=53372&mode=view)

But the new one feels great to me. For me, it feels cozy. It feels like I can't help but imagine all the stories that started (or ended) here.

(https://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/download/file.php?id=53373&mode=view)

What do you think? Do you like it?
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Spinachcat on May 18, 2019, 10:02:40 PM
Where's the trapdoor to the levels underneath?

Probably at least want a cellar / storage area as the two levels don't have much closet space.

It looks good overall.

BTW, explain the color scheme.
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on May 19, 2019, 03:50:12 AM
Hi! I haven't decided yet if the cellar is accessible behind the counter or if I should go in a more realistic direction and just move the cellar somewhere outside. Cellars are very difficult to make in an early Medieval period, to the point where even in the late Medieval centuries rich townsfolk were using the ground floor as a cellar.

I love these sepia-like colors. I can't exactly explain it, but they really soothe me, you know? Like it's a realm that's a bit static, forgotten, even nostalgic in its very present time. A bit... hollow. As if you're entering the world that is not ready to welcome you, even if it's not directly hostile. You're not from here.
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Spinachcat on May 19, 2019, 11:19:30 PM
BTW, tell us more about Visual Novel vs. a RPG.

What makes Roadwarden an interactive fiction vs a "regular cRPG"?
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on May 20, 2019, 03:42:08 AM
It's actually a bit complicated. : P

Trying to make it as specific as I can: most RPGs are games that put a great emphasis on violence, leveling up your character and unlocking new powers. So I don't feel like I should try to promote this game as a "clean" RPG - many people who love RPGs, even the same RPGs that I love, would be bored by this game. In Roadwarden, you won't walk around a forest and kill boars and goblins to gather XP and sell their tusks in an automated shop. You'll do many things that you do in most RPGs - including combat, exploring an open world, finding new equipment and character abilities, talking with innkeepers and solving side-quests, but it's all put in a different context.

So, for example, when a group of bandits appear on a street, in most RPGs you kill them, loot them and move on. In Roadwarden, bandits are a part of the setting. They live here, have friends, families, goals, regrets. And you won't be able to kill them, at least not by yourself.

But it's also not a "clean" VN, it even gets very close to CYOAdventure games. Like in VNs, you spend most of the time reading and making dialogue choices with an addition of simplified visuals, but the story is not linear, doesn't have a VN-like branching (routes), doesn't involve Japanese teen girls nor romance, and the gameplay elements are very significant. I mean... Many people who love Visual Novels wouldn't find what they're looking for in this game. It's just so far from what VN fans are looking for in their games.

And there are these simplified bits of text parsers - where the player takes the keyboard and inputs (types) instructions to solve puzzles and secrets...

I think I should write a bit more about all this. I'll try to make a devlog post about it next week, does this sound fine?
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Spinachcat on May 20, 2019, 04:58:30 PM
I am always interested when a game takes on new directions in a genre. I'm bored beyond tears with a meaningless combat grind, but I do enjoy combat with a purpose (beyond 20 boar head quests or leveling for levels sake). So definitely would be interested in hearing more about where Roadwarden fits in the RPG/VN world as you develop your ideas.

Based on your description, your game sounds more like a real (tabletop) RPG than most computer RPGs.

What's your projected/proposed date for your Kickstarter? AKA, where are you in your dev cycle?
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on May 22, 2019, 02:01:50 AM
I actually started playing tabletop RPGs when I was about 13 and I've been playing (mostly GMing) for maybe 16 years now. I also self-published some of my own games (only in Polish, though) and I also have this low-priority approach for combat when I play. I mean - violence happens, but it's very often quick and based on context. I never force players to fight just to make the pacing more dynamic, and my players are always encouraged to solve encounters with good planning and strategies.

I'm not sure if the Kickstarter will happen. I didn't plan it, but your question made me think. : P I'm not a big fan of crowdfunding, especially since I don't live in North America and that would limit potential rewards that I could bring to the table.

However, I'd say I'm more than 10% done. The engine is working, the "skeleton" of the game is here. Now it all comes to keeping my sanity high, writing content and, of course, testing and adjusting based on the tests.

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

Oh, and by the way, the first entry in the Roadwarden's devlog (https://www.indiedb.com/games/roadwarden/news/first-steps-after-the-announcement-roadwarden-devlog) is now available!
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on May 25, 2019, 09:08:42 AM
A new feature added - having an option to end the game! : P



Since Roadwarden is going to have a very unusual story structure and is, in some way, an open world game, I expect that not everyone is going to complete it in 100%. So, you're going to be able to finish the game whenever you want - even in the middle of the tutorial. And if you want, you can always read a summary of your journey (which will get more and more detailed as your playthrough goes on) to let you know how much of a "good" ending you've earned up to this point

And yes - these endings are going to be heavily personalized. The one you see in the video, for example, belongs to a PC whose main goal is the wish to help people. Other characters have a bit different endings.

The entire "ending" section is still in an early WIP. It's going to have additional graphics and maybe even an interface looking more like the game's prologue, but for now it's fine as it is. : )

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

By the way... Have you seen the game's first devlog? (https://www.indiedb.com/games/roadwarden/news/first-steps-after-the-announcement-roadwarden-devlog
)

--------------------------
I was planning to focus on writing the new scenes for Roadwarden, but I decided to change my approach. Since the demo of the game received quite a bit of attention and a lot of helpful feedback (which includes one game-crashing bug), here are the plans for the nearby future:

Monday, May 25th - new devlog focused on the "genre" of the game (why is it an RPG / Visual Novel / text adventure hybrid : P).
Friday, May 31st -  the new demo of the game (with few fixes and some additional features).
Saturday, June 1st -  a video presenting the entire "tutorial" section of the game. For those who'd like to just see a couple of bits without sinking into the entire thing.
Monday, June 3rd - a regular devlog explaining the new features from the demo and some other changes.

After that point, the demo will no longer be updated unless a game-breaking bug will be spotted.
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Itachi on May 26, 2019, 01:36:38 PM
Superb project. Let us know when the KS comes out, Aureus.
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on May 27, 2019, 04:17:57 PM
My second devlog (https://www.indiedb.com/games/roadwarden/news/an-rpg-visual-novel-text-adventure-hybrid-is-a-mouthful-roadwarden-devlog)! I wrote about Roadwarden and why it's difficult to label it with a single genre, I hope it will be useful especially for Spinachcat.

And thank you, Itachi, I'm still not sure if any crowdfunding will happen. : )
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on June 01, 2019, 07:38:29 AM
The new version of the demo is now available (https://moral-anxiety.itch.io/roadwarden), and not only it has multiple minor and major fixes, but also some bits of additional content.

Unless a large bug will be found, I currently assume that the version 0.3 won't be updated in the nearby future. And it should be able to fairly portray the gist of what I want Roadwarden to be.

If you haven't played the demo before, this is the version that I would recommend. However, if you've already play it through, you may be interested in checking out the following changelog. A deeper look will be available on Monday, in the new devlog.

The Mac version is now available.
Though it's not tested very well. If you find any issues, please let me know.

The achievements don't kill you anymore.
I'm surprised (and relieved) that only one person have encountered this problem. From now on, clicking on the received achievement won't crash the game.

You can switch the font to a pixel one.
Whenever you want, you can switch between a pixel-artish font (which looks nice) and the regular font (which is easier to read). The regular font is still used by default.

Now you can actually beat the game! (and unlock the worst endings)
A new icon on the map allows you to complete the game, even in the very first morning. The "ending" section doesn't have illustrations yet, but is altered by the goal that you've chosen for your character.

Added new travel descriptions.
If you're in the Southern Crossroads and move either to the dolmen or the tavern for the first time, you'll see examples of the new travel descriptions. This tool will also make random encounters much easier to implement.

Added a couple of options to the dolmen.
Parsers in the dolmen respond now to more commands. Also, a small bug involving the secret was fixed.

Rolling back works better with various menus (like map and sleeping).
Using a mouse or keyboard to "roll back" when a map or other complex menu are displayed sometimes created issues. From now on, it will only close the displayed menus, without instantly jumping back.

Pointing at your HP is now more elegant.
It won't cover the main narration and is generally more responsive.

Fixed some typos and rephrased a couple of things.
Among the major changes - the inventory descriptions are now significantly more polished and the "choices" are more consistent.

And here is the latest devlog (https://www.indiedb.com/games/roadwarden/news/an-rpg-visual-novel-text-adventure-hybrid-is-a-mouthful-roadwarden-devlog ), portraying the problems with labeling the game through traditional genres.

(https://i.imgur.com/jtGR8vB.gif)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on June 08, 2019, 07:54:02 AM
Whenever you encounter new NPCs in Roadwarden, you can select one of the 5 attitudes to impact the first impression you're going to make. Attitudes affect the tone of the conversation, what the NPCs think about you and what dialogue choices will be available to you in the future.

A group of bandits surrounds you. Some of them hold swords, others have loaded crossbows. Do you try to ease the tension by being friendly? Do you try to intimidate them? Do you act vulnerably, hoping they spare you?

Do you like what attitudes can you currently choose from? Do you think there should be any more?

Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on June 22, 2019, 07:49:04 AM
My "break" is over! I'm back into the full-dev mode and it feels great. <3

I'm working on the dialogues for the first tavern. There's a lot of things to talk about and to do here, and guess what. You don't even Have to come here, and if you're aggressive toward the innkeeper, you'll just get thrown out. Choose your Attitudes wisely!

Screenshot 1 (https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot01.1.png) Screenshot 2 (https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot02.1.png) Screenshot 3 (https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot03.1.png) Screenshot 4 (https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot04.1.png)

[ATTACH=CONFIG]3539[/ATTACH]
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on June 29, 2019, 09:46:29 AM
Hi, I'm Aureus and I love dialogues.

But seriously, how much can you do in a single tavern?

And yes, you still are going to be able to beat the game without ever going to this area.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]3565[/ATTACH]
[ATTACH=CONFIG]3566[/ATTACH]
[ATTACH=CONFIG]3567[/ATTACH]
[ATTACH=CONFIG]3568[/ATTACH]
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on July 13, 2019, 08:00:38 AM
What a fruitful week this was.

The dialogues for the tavern that I've been working on for weeks are now finished. Adding all the conversations for the guards increased the volume by a third (https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot0039.png), but the more I wrote, the more I was sure it was a good idea. The throw-away NPC now has a lot of personality, and I've added a lot of new things which will impact the game even in the later stages.

After finishing with this place, I took some time to draw. Two completely different areas:
1. A ruined village (https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/ruinedvillage.png). The Imperial forests are dangerous and unfriendly, forcing the hamlets and villages to grow as slowly, as they can. If humankind affects the nature too much, too fast - the monsters arrive to take back what belongs to them.

2. At the edge of the swamp, a large tree stands (https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/sacredtree.png) for as long as anyone remembers. It has no leaves, yet slowly grows. To stay alive, however, it has to be fed by the locals, who put their offerings on an ancient altar.

Drawing still consumes a lot of time, but what now takes me a day or two, just half a year ago would be literally impossible for me. Or would require two weeks and dozens of redraws. Feels good to grow.
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on July 20, 2019, 09:01:23 AM
I've made a huge progress as far as the graphics go. I now have enough material to spend a couple of weeks writing dialogues, encounters and modifying the game's features. I need to make some large changes, and all of them are going to be great.

Here are some examples of the latest advancements:

1. The druids' cave, locked behind a metal door. What can be found inside? Is it just a shelter, a prison, a treasure chamber? After all the first things you see when you get nearby, are the garden patches with herbs and veggies.

And you can see how much your feedback can impact the picture.

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot0001.png)

2. The shop screen is looking much better now, though it still needs some work. Next stop - adding a separate icon to display the money in player's possession, replacing parts of the item descriptions.

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot0002.png)

3. A camp in a destroyed building, a part of the ruined village presented here last week. Iron and steel are rare and valuable resources, no wonder that someone would try to scavenge for them in an old, abandoned settlement.

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot0003.png)

I don't have enough time to take care of all the ideas I want to pursue right now, but there's a good chance that a new version of the demo is going to be available in August, Though maybe not, maybe I should focus on developing all of the core areas that the player can visit and quests they can be a part of.

I would love to know what you think!

(Bonus devlog!) (https://moral-anxiety.itch.io/roadwarden/devlog/90099/banging-my-head-against-a-brick-wall-roadwarden-devlog)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on August 03, 2019, 03:22:17 AM
It's difficult to decide what to showcase today, I hope it's fine if I drop a whole bunch of pics:

Here are some of the latest advancements:
1. The Roadwarden's world is growing! New areas are now also visible on the traveling map.
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot0.png)

2. I'm currently writing a detailed scene for the ruined village that I've shared here before. The overall "exploration" system of this area is all set and done, and works completely fine. My later edits will surely change various areas and add some new content, but I'm happy about where this is going.
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot1.png)
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot2.png)
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot3.png)

3. The shop screen is now much easier to comprehend and simply prettier. Thanks to the "Trade" button in the quick menu, you can also open the shop without having to choose a specific dialog option during a conversation.
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot5.png)
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot6.png)

4. The new section of the journal will now include NPC descriptions and, even more importantly, names. It's a solution born from necessity - I can't expect that everyone is going to remember all the character names and detailed information about them.
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot7.png)

5. The dialogue I'm currently working on... Is referencing Scottish accents too cliche for fantasy writing in 2019? : P
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot8.png)

And, of course, new rewrites, bug fixes, new content, quests...
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on August 17, 2019, 08:07:27 AM
After over 3 weeks of writing new dialogues, events, items, interactions and one large side quest for Roadwarden, all of this content is finally a part of the actual game.

Here are some of the latest advancements:
1. An example of how combat looks in the game. As well as the "escorting" quests. No grinding for XP, no following a character for 5-10 minutes. A couple of simple clicks, decision making and if you can, you prepare yourself before the encounter happens. Nice and sweat, with an open field for role-playing.
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/sss01.png)

2. Time is going to matter, just as intended. If you postpone the quest for too long, you can still complete it - but it won't be a happy end for the quest giver. Also, you can express how your character is perceiving this situation.
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/sss02.png)

3. My English improves with practice, and I have in plans taking a huge step back and editing the entire tutorial section. Yikes.
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/sss03.png)

4. IDK, I just really like this NPC. : P So far, I like all of my NPCs. You will be able to recognize which ones I don't like by measuring how little to do and dialogues they have attached to them.
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/sss04.png)

5. New inventory section! It still requires some improvements, but it's not too bad!
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/sss05.png)

I'm really getting better at adding the content to the game files - in the beginning, I was spending days fixing broken code and trying to figure out how it should be actually organized. Now? A couple of mistakes, some oversights, a couple of hours and bam, everything works just fine.
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on August 24, 2019, 06:33:01 AM
Would you like to make an offering?

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/01-23VIII.png)
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/02-23VIII.png)
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/03-23VIII.png)
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/04-23VIII.png)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on August 31, 2019, 08:22:18 AM
Hi there!

I'm currently editing some of the older scenes in the game, including the tutorial-prologue scenes, preparing to share the current version of the game with some testers. There's so much new content that needs some additional feedback, and I keep finding (and fixing) annoying bugs... I'm both excited and terrified. : P

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/sss31VIII01.png)
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/sss31VIII02.png)
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/sss31VIII03.png)
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/sss31VIII04.png)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on September 07, 2019, 09:00:04 AM
It's time to share something larger than a picture. The music presented in Roadwarden's demo was waiting for replacement. Now we have quite a massive list of original tracks that still need a couple of adjustments, yet are already very close to the game's heart.

It's difficult to select and highlight a single track, but here's the one that I love the most: The Edge of Night (https://soundcloud.com/moral-anxiety-studio/the-edge-of-night-by-nicholas-roder-for-roadwarden). It immediately takes me to a wild, dangerous forest. I want to keep the sounds a bit anxious, emotionally vague, without directly telling the players what they are supposed to feel.

I really like it when fantasy video games don't sink into the usual epic orchestras.  

So, do you love it, do you hate it? Let me know, I'm so excited to upload it today!
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on September 28, 2019, 08:16:12 AM
I'm back! My health is fine now, and I finally had a good week in the realm of Roadwarden. I've drawn a new area, the abandoned watchtower, and I'm really proud of it. Originally, it was meant to be a destroyed tower, but once I've drawn it, I haven't have the heart to turn it into ruins. xD

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/adventuregamefriday01.png)

I've also set up a new area, the road blocked by a fallen tree. The player can investigate this place for clues, trying to figure out what happened in this place. The later part of the quest is not written down yet, mostly because the NPCs related to it are not yet in the game, but it's a fun little side-activity, that requires a bit of deduction.

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/adventuregamefriday02.png)

The game's world keeps growing... And it makes me super happy. ^^

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/adventuregamefriday03.png)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on October 12, 2019, 08:06:53 AM
October is moving forward really well. The major part of the watchtower scenes is already in to the game.

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/SSS01.png)

There's so much content already, and it seems to be almost bug-free so far (...though it involved fixing hundreds of mistakes), and the music works so well! There's a good chance I'll update the demo sometime next week, just to give you a chance to see how much has everything changed since the release of the old version. : )

During the last couple of days I've drawn a couple of new areas that are going to be used as minor stops and the "loading screens" - small bits of narration that precede arriving to a new area.

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/SSS02.png)

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/SSS03.png)

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/SSS04.png)

And also, I've added two new tracks to the game's Soundcloud (https://soundcloud.com/moral-anxiety-studio/sets/roadwarden-original-soundtrack). They're worth checking out. ^^
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on October 19, 2019, 08:01:50 AM
I'm too sick to write dialogues, but I still have enough patience to draw, and drawing is fun. Here are some new areas that I've been working on - some of them are meant to be memorable and interacted with...

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/sss01.1.png)

while others are going to be used more like loading / transition screens. Creating one of those takes me much less time than it used to, but still, it's so great that podcasts exist.

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/sss02.1.png)

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/sss03.1.png)

Also, I've decided to return to some of my older pictures and update them to the new style that I've adapted through the months of learning. My military camp, one of the oldest pictures I've ever made (in February), has changed so many times, and it's all thanks to the feedback and criticism that kind people share with me on-line.

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/military_camp_village_5_stages.png)

The new version of the Roadwarden's demo is going to be available in November. The introduced changes are going to be huge, so I personally recommend to not play the older demo - though it's still available on Itch.io.
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on October 26, 2019, 08:11:58 AM
Today's illustration has a little story behind it.

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/adventuregamefriday3b.png)

The oldest design document for Roadwarden was written in the first months of 2018. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to make a game with a place like this one - an isolated dwelling, in which the magic crafter stays away from other people, obsessed with her trade, surrounded by her creations.

Originally, I planned to place the game's prototype among these walls.

I prepared my software, but I barely even started. I "realized" I *won't* be able to make pixel art, maybe even ever. I had to postpone the project anyway, so I accepted that I failed and moved on.

When I started working on the game in January 2019, I knew that I still wanted this place to be a part of my fantasy realm. I was slowly learning the basics, and focused on some other areas - those that the player sees in the first stages of the actual game. Most of these areas are going to be available in the new demo.

But I finally decided to give it another shot. And now, here it is. The residence of magic crafter. The exterior went from "impossible," to "finished in two days." The interior took another day. I'm not gonna lie - I'm moved.

For now, enough of drawing. Recently, I'm focused on programming and writing. And it's going pretty well. ^^

(https://s3.gifyu.com/images/roadwardennewbutton.gif)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on November 02, 2019, 09:08:21 AM
I have just this little thing to share, a hidden in-game detail.

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot01.2.png)

Not every character starts the game with this item, and I'm sure some players won't notice its hidden interaction. If you wear it, various NPCs react to your presence in new ways.

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot02.2.png)
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot02b.png)

So, are you going to wear it all the time, proud of your beliefs? Are you going to keep it hidden, hoping to avoid quarrels? Is it just a tool for you, something that you hide or show depending on who's around you?

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot04.2.png)

How do you play your role?

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot03.2.png)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on November 09, 2019, 08:09:31 AM
I've been working a lot on the new title screen, and I think that after receiving a lot of very helpful feedback, it's in a pretty good spot right now. : )

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/01newmenu2b.png)

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/02prologue.png)

I'm also doing a whole bunch of minor things for the game, since I can hardly find enough time and patience to focus on writing dialogues. I'm adding quests, items, some new dialogue options... I had a really good flow with some ideas, like these two weapons:

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/03itemspear.png)

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/04itembow.png)

I've also realized that my original plan of "fitting every bit of dialogue in a single window" won't work. Some NPCs will just have too many dialogue options available if you meet them for the first time in a very late part of the game. Because of that, I've decided to add the optional scrolling - it will show up only if there's something to scroll through, so it won't impact the major experience.

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/05newscrolling.png)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on November 16, 2019, 08:52:41 AM
Through this week, I wrote sooo many dialogue bits, made new items, designed new quests and broadened some older content... I'm in the flow, and it feels good.

Here's an example of how arriving to a new place looks like. My lizard brain tells me to stop overcomplicating things, but I'm more like... Nah, "how bout I do anyway". ; )

(https://i.imgur.com/CeFXiAf.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/MbZmIY6.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/BqbvjMW.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/bX9qv5x.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/3UVO5Xy.png)

And here are some examples of how do the later parts of the same conversation look like.

(https://i.imgur.com/9v0yjqi.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/SUOZaiZ.png)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on November 30, 2019, 08:49:12 AM
The development has recently encountered a couple of obstacles and pitfalls, but guess what. I *think* the new version of the demo is working. : ) It still needs some additional testing, would you like to help me with that?

You can download it here! (https://moral-anxiety.itch.io/roadwarden)

Does it start for you, can you play it? At one point, the Mac version was crushing out after saving. I hope it's fixed. : P

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

And if you wonder what has changed since the last version but you plan to wait for the full game, here are some highlights, just for context:

* the available content has tripled - you can visit four new areas (each one is significantly different) and engage in three complex dialogues that they involve
* a completely new music was introduced
* the in-game journal now includes a chapter that summarizes interesting clues related to various NPCs
* the inventory screen is completely redesigned and much more convenient
* area illustration and inventory icons were updated
* text parser that don't need to support capital letters, like the one in the dolmen, don't use them anymore
* various bits of dialogues and interactions were enhanced
* various spelling / phrasing fixes
* new menu screen
* bugs were eliminated - unless?
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: sneazzy95 on November 30, 2019, 02:05:43 PM
Thanks for the downloading link !


UC Browser (https://www.ucbrowser.vip/) SHAREit (https://shareit.onl/) MX Player (https://mxplayer.pro/)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on November 30, 2019, 03:06:10 PM
:D You're very welcome!
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on December 07, 2019, 08:13:12 AM
Guess what! Roadwarden can now be wishlisted on Steam! (https://store.steampowered.com/app/1155970/Roadwarden/)

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/howlersdell03x4.png)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on December 14, 2019, 08:09:56 AM
I've reached a rough spot, since as I share more WIPs from my game, my posts get more and more spoilerish... I need to figure out a new approach. But here is something more casual that I've been working on this week! : )
(https://i.imgur.com/lbRr9cn.gif)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on December 28, 2019, 08:21:27 AM
In the original Roadwarden's Design Document, there were no game-overs. You could get significantly hurt during your journeys, but never to the point where you'd face a brick wall that would make the further progress impossible. You need to rest and heal your wounds to participate in some events, but you can always move forward.

I've finally decided to change it. In most situations, reaching 0 HP won't result in an instant death. But in some scripted encounters - usually when facing an overwhelming opponent while being completely unprepared - your character will be broken.

Still, I hope to make it as player-friendly as possible. Did you forget to save your game? Was autosave ran in an inconvenient spot? You can jump back in time a bit, no strings attached.

The game now also involves some new systems, like a redesigned "armor level". I'll talk more about it in the next devlog.

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot0001.2.png)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on January 18, 2020, 08:07:26 AM
Roadwarden looks much better now, all thanks to the new font. : ) The text has more space to breathe, the letters have more personality, and thanks to the serifs, it's going to be easier to keep track of the lines you read. Everybody wins.

Other changes were introduced as well, such as the new addition to the inventory screen - when you now point at any icon, the item's name is instantly displayed, so you don't have to click anything if you try to quickly find something in your equipment.

I currently write dialogues, quests and stores for the game's largest area, it's quite exhausting, and I try to avoid spoilers. : P However, you can expect more posts very soon.

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot0001aplus.png)
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot0001bplus.png)
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot0002.1.png)
(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/screenshot0003.1.png)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on January 25, 2020, 08:43:46 AM
For this ScreenshotSaturday, I have a rather large update. And a lot of pictures to show. Too many for a forum post. Oh dear, that must mean... It's devlog time!

And here it is! (https://moral-anxiety.itch.io/roadwarden/devlog/121089/buried-in-words-roadwarden-devlog)

I wrote about the map updates, the new armor system, UI adjustments, the new Journal, the most recent WIPs, and recapped the stuff related to the game over screens and the new font.
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on February 08, 2020, 08:18:56 AM
I took a little break from writing and drew some new areas. One of them is this abandoned fishing hamlet that I really like.

Places like this one are somewhat common in this fantasy realm. No village can have access to all the goods it requires to prosper, but daily travels for additional resources can turn out to be fatally dangerous. If a village has enough working power and supplies, it will sometimes start a new, small settlement focused on a specific field of work.

You can find among them mines, quarries, and brickworks, but also houses for hunters, lumberjacks, and charcoal burners, as well as temporary shelters for workers who build bridges or roadside inns. The fishing hamlet we see here allowed the locals to fish, and to preserve their meat by curing and smoking.

(https://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/71/70656/fishinghamlet01.png)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on March 21, 2020, 09:15:21 AM
The game has grown tremendously, though I try to keep everything spoiler-free. : ) For now, how about a tune? (https://soundcloud.com/moral-anxiety-studio/waking-up-by-nicholas-roder-for-roadwarden?in=moral-anxiety-studio/sets/roadwarden-original-soundtrack)

We want our music to be subtle, not bluntly cheerful, nor overwhelming tense. The today's example is on the "brighter" side, but we still tried to hide some uncertainty in it. Is "post rock folk" a thing?
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on March 28, 2020, 09:16:48 AM
Villages in Roadwarden are secluded and often self-sufficient, doing their best to utilize their landscape and the nearby resources to their advantage. This also results in the common distrust of strangers, especially of those who attempt to shake the status quo.

Even the smaller settlements need to have their guard up, but the high walls are often not enough to keep the beasts, undead, and highwaymen at a distance.

(https://i.imgur.com/jPgcLyb.png)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on April 18, 2020, 08:38:41 AM
The latest Roadwarden devlog (https://moral-anxiety.itch.io/roadwarden/devlog/133874/taking-a-fresh-look-roadwarden-devlog) is now available. About the new notifications, clock, font, world map updates, and more.
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on May 02, 2020, 08:38:13 AM
I've made some fantastic progress this week, but I'm especially happy with introducing the new continue button. One of the best things about making a game that doesn't use a lot of hardware is that you can make it run almost instantly. You won't have to remember where has your last save occurred or which save slot you have used - just click and play.

Also, I don't think there will be a reason to add some semi-skippable animated company logos whenever the game launches, so all it takes from the moment you press the game's icon to the moment you're in is like 10-15 seconds. : P

Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on May 09, 2020, 08:16:25 AM
The Clean Spear inn. From February 2019 to May 2020.

If you think it's an improvement, you should see the game's writing. I've been grinding some juicy level ups.

(New, probably the last, version of demo coming this month.)

(https://i.imgur.com/VRmjono.png)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on May 23, 2020, 08:12:12 AM
The new version of Roadwarden's demo is now available on Steam (https://store.steampowered.com/app/1155970/Roadwarden/).

An additional area to explore, more things to do, better writing, upgraded UI, improved visuals. I'd love to know what you think. : )

(https://moralanxietystudio.com/assets/images/roadwarden/screenshot0001-ea58d3fb73.png)
(https://moralanxietystudio.com/assets/images/roadwarden/screenshot0002-bf43c31a7b.png)
(https://moralanxietystudio.com/assets/images/roadwarden/screenshot0003-eed4ec524b.png)
(https://moralanxietystudio.com/assets/images/roadwarden/prologue-76fd6f5c43.png)
(https://moralanxietystudio.com/assets/images/roadwarden/screenshot0004-59a259ddff.png)
(https://moralanxietystudio.com/assets/images/roadwarden/screenshot0005-53f95818ec.png)
(https://moralanxietystudio.com/assets/images/roadwarden/screenshot0006-6776be5671.png)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on June 13, 2020, 08:29:19 AM
The Roadwarden's world map keeps its original size in the game, so most of its details won't be noticed without putting your nose against the screen. It's a shame, honestly, but my goal is to convey the impression of shifting landscape, not to portray the "realistic" geography.

(https://i.imgur.com/4XjCs4K.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/9uY4cCX.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/vpHGhzV.png)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on July 04, 2020, 08:13:31 AM
Unlike most people, the monks learn to be satisfied with what's essential for their survival, the simplest foods and shelters. They seek happiness in understanding and accepting things as they are, hidden both in nature and between the lines of the sacred scriptures, studying the mysteries of the world - herbs, crops, magic, beasts, metallurgy...  

Many of the monasteries are placed on the outskirts of civilization, where the monks explore and tame the unknown grounds. They expect that the other settlements, especially those which focus on food production, will provide for them. In return, the order shares with such villages the fruits of its research, from general guidance to specific inventions.

The monks see themselves as responsible for broadening the potential of humankind, even though this perspective is rarely shared by those who don't follow the teachings of the Church of Truth. Disbelievers claim that too many of the orders aim to gather resources beyond their needs, discarding their grand ideas, and reveal just the scraps of their research, and only when they can't parasitize their neighbors any further. The lack of transparency sparks distrust, fear, and in some cases - hostility.

(https://i.imgur.com/EgctoVX.png)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on August 08, 2020, 08:04:46 AM
Humans try to mark their presence in the world, but their memories and tales dwindle, their bodies wither away, their homes and statues turn into dust.

The wilderness prevails, indifferent like time.

(https://i.imgur.com/3AHmlGv.png)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: TheSHEEEP on August 12, 2020, 03:08:46 AM
I really dig the art style.
It reminds me of playing Game Boy games on the TV via the Super Game Boy...
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on August 12, 2020, 01:57:00 PM
Quote from: TheSHEEEP;1144474
I really dig the art style.
It reminds me of playing Game Boy games on the TV via the Super Game Boy...


I'm glad to hear that! I feel like this color palette carries the visuals all by itself.
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on August 22, 2020, 08:13:53 AM
The Foggy Lake tavern is one of the younger shelters that the roadwarden can visit during their patrols. It used to be a single hut used by the hunters and woodcutters from the nearby village, but quickly proved to be useful for trading. It provided the locals with a spot to barter or, once the palisade was raised, to spend a night and feast.

Foggy, a huntress and a fisher, has decided to invest into a more durable building, and then moved in as the keeper. She hopes to turn this place into a large inn, or maybe even a new settlement, though so far it's a distant dream. While the nearby wilderness is rather gentle and the beasts keep their distance, the open access to the lake remains a threat to the dwellers. They leave this place at the end of every fall, moving back in the early thaw. The won't risk being cut away from their old home for months.

The actual lake doesn't have a name, but Foggy is a bit vain. Since she knows a lot about the settlements in the North, it may be better to stay on her good side.

(https://i.imgur.com/ZdCy5fg.png)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Rafael on August 24, 2020, 04:50:07 PM
Have you thought about creating a mobile/Android version of this game? I have ZERO idea about the work this would involve, mind you. Thing is, this is perhaps not a game I would play on PC/console, but on the phone - for sure! :)
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on August 25, 2020, 12:01:10 AM
Quote from: Rafael;1146278
Thing is, this is perhaps not a game I would play on PC/console


I think it's a fair perspective. Here's my current plant: I want to focus on making the PC version as good as I can, and see how well - if at all - it's going to sell. If it's going to be a financial disaster, I don't think porting it to other platforms will save me.
Otherwise, my next step will be to make a mobile port. The engine I use allows to make simple ports, and I know that there was one person who pretty much modded the game's demo and put it on their phone and it kind of worked, even without any adaptations. But I don't want to half-ass it. : P
So yeah, I hope to make a mobile port, though right now I don't want to split my attention too much.
And thank you for asking. ^^
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Greentongue on August 25, 2020, 07:38:17 AM
I really like what you are doing here.
While clear that English is not your native tongue, the story is compelling.
A great example of "Path Crawling" (http://detectmagic.blogspot.com/2014/04/pathcrawl.html) style game.
Title: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on August 26, 2020, 01:03:15 AM
Quote from: Greentongue;1146351
I really like what you are doing here.
While clear that English is not your native tongue, the story is compelling.
A great example of "Path Crawling" (http://detectmagic.blogspot.com/2014/04/pathcrawl.html) style game.

Thank you so much! I'm always cringing when someone notices that I struggle with English, but I try to keep in mind that I've already learned quite a lot during this adventure and I may be able to fix it. Especially since there's already a person who plans to help me polish the more awkward chunks of my writing. : )

I haven't met the Path Crawling label before, but the way this blogger suggests it could be viewed as surely makes sense. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I used to wonder if my game should be seen as an open-world one, and the description from this blog works much better.
Title: Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on September 05, 2020, 08:21:05 AM
You can now find the newest Roadwarden devlog on Itch.io (https://moral-anxiety.itch.io/roadwarden/devlog/176144/invisible-milestones-roadwarden-devlog), with updates on the new approach to the character’s goals, the crossbow rework, the heart of the forest, the game’s release date, and more!


(https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzQxODUxNzkucG5n/original/tT7fBS.png)
Title: Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on September 26, 2020, 12:43:59 PM
I’m having a crazy month, but I’ve managed to test some new things.


1) The new d6 icon, that both makes it clear that a choice has a random chance attached to it, and allows me to alter some of the older choices to make them more interesting. It’s especially useful in combat - and gambling.
(https://i.imgur.com/Ln2YJMt.png)


2) The new “wait” option, a quality-of-life addition to the UI.
(https://i.imgur.com/5evxoCP.png)


3) A WIP illustration. I’m struggling to find a balance between the chaos and emptiness of the wilderness. I'll need to rework it, but I think it's an interesting attempt.
(https://i.imgur.com/cuMgKGy.png)


October will be one of the loosest months I’ll have in 2020, so I’ll be able to finally focus on the game’s development. I can’t even express how happy I am. ^^
Title: Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on October 17, 2020, 08:00:58 AM
Three inns, three different opportunities to hide from the creatures of the night.

The obvious differences are the room prices, HP restoration values, and the “breakfast included” service. But there’s more - sleeping in some spots involves unique encounters and conversations, and the prices and benefits change as the player befriends the owners of these places.

There are also other areas in the game where the player can find a shelter, but they usually involve a more effort before they get unlocked.

(https://i.imgur.com/K4gZkSF.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/6jg75qx.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/Z224wgG.png)
Title: Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on October 24, 2020, 08:25:18 AM
One of the things that I really like about the game’s fantasy setting is its almost-post-apocalyptic feel. The overgrowing roads, the abandoned ruins, the secluded settlements, terrifying nights, and the scarcity of resources... Yet it’s not a result of a divine will, a random cataclysm, or of some plan orchestrated by an evil overlord. It’s just a harsh place to live in, and it shapes those who try to do so.

The roadwarden is not an almighty hero. While their journeys connect the few tamed scraps of the land, they keep fighting to survive and to achieve their goals, not to conquer the world or to change the “natural” order. There could be thousands of people like them alive, the realm would still struggle. It’s up to you to decide if you’re going to accept it.

(https://i.imgur.com/MsVwa4p.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/yx7uroB.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/LZdLvBK.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/rQUAlJD.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/vgAWWK5.png)
Title: Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: TheSHEEEP on October 27, 2020, 07:08:19 AM
While their journeys connect the few tamed scraps of the land, they keep fighting to survive and to achieve their goals, not to conquer the world or to change the “natural” order. There could be thousands of people like them alive, the realm would still struggle. It’s up to you to decide if you’re going to accept it.
Maybe I missed it in the posts, but what is actually the goal of the game?
Is there even one given?

In a story-sense, I mean.
Title: Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on October 27, 2020, 07:38:41 AM
I'm inspired by the Morrowind's "go out there and get to know some people, see some places, maybe find a better equipment" kind of thing. The main quest involves learning as many valuable things as you can about the land you enter. The merchant guild from the city wants to find out if it would be profitable for them to invest into a new trade route, so the more you discover, the better.

The more direct goal (which is, however, completely optional) is to find the previous roadwarden of this place, or at least reveal the truth behind his disappearance. The natural progression of this quest is somewhat connected to the exploration, and it's going to have a more traditional structure with the climax in its end, but I expect not every player will see this quest as the main story, nor they will be forced to end their game once it gets completed.

There's one more side to all this. The player chooses their own, personal goal. Some of these goals are very specific (get 100 coins), others are vague (become a hero), and they are meant to help the player figure out the PC's background and the role-playing direction they could follow.
(https://img.itch.zone/aW1nLzQxODUxNzYucG5n/original/hLPH88.png)

Thank you for asking and please let me know if you have additional questions. : )
Title: Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: TheSHEEEP on October 27, 2020, 08:02:00 AM
Thanks for the answer.

I think this is a very good approach to design, and I'm trying to do the same for my game project (though that is really only in R&D phase right now and likely until late next year).
It's very important for motivation to give players goals (immediate, mid-term and long-term) or at least give them the tools to make their own goals.

Too many games, at least in the survival genre, just throw you out there and that's it.
That has never worked for me and I rarely play those games for more than a few hours.
Title: Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on October 27, 2020, 08:42:57 AM
I'm glad you think so! I also tried to not overdo it in the opposite way. When an RPG puts a lot of eggs into a basket of a single story, I rarely get excited about it since almost all of these stories turn into save-the-world power fantasies/privilege simulators which I'm not interested in anymore. (Mostly because I've seen them too many times, not because they are "objectively" terrible.)

So, for example, I don't just assume that the player is going to be fascinated about the story of the previous roadwarden. There's even an NPC who asks you why do you try to find this person, and while this is meant to be an option to feed the NPC with a dialogue choice they would appreciate the most so you can get on their good side, it's also a moment where I hope the player will think about it for a second. Are they doing it just for the reward, to fulfill their duty, to help another person in need? What drives their character, and how does it reflect on their main goal?

I don't often find such a thing in the game other than evil / good choices ("to save the world" / "to gain power"), and I think it's a shame. There's something very interesting about the life choices made by fictional adventurers. We usually make stories in which they follow a lead all the way through, but I find it fascinating how many dozens if not hundreds of decisions they must make to stay on course. They could, after all, give up at any point. Usually. ; )

That's why in Roadwarden you can end the game at any time. Just turn around and return to the city. And I plan to make it always feel like an actual conclusion to the experience.

I wish you good luck with your research. I'd recommend trying to make a prototype rather early on, so you can keep in mind which things turned out to not work as great as you'd hope for. : ) Keeping everything on paper usually doesn't survive once it meets reality. 
Title: Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Greentongue on October 27, 2020, 02:03:14 PM
It reminds me of "King of Dragon Pass" as far as the basic style.
Guess there are just not enough text/graphic novel games that I know of.

Interesting change of pace.
Title: Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
Post by: Aureus on October 27, 2020, 02:26:28 PM
I think "King of Dragon Pass" is a fascinating game but the sheer volume of rules was just overwhelming for me. It's amazing how many things it allows you to do, but at the same time trying to do all of them at once and keeping them in balance as you try to survive and prosper would probably take dozens of hours before even being able to understand the basics.

I think it's one of the games I've played that encouraged me to try a minimalist approach. I try to add more options without a constant introduction of new mechanics. I think it goes well so far, though there's a limit of how much I can do with it.

I'm also not a specialists when it comes to text-based games, the few I played were usually very different from one another. A couple of people recommended to me "Darklands", and I think I should give it a tray.