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Messages - Aureus

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1
The new title screen, with a slightly altered prologue. I think it looks pretty good, and I still love the music.


2
It took me a full month, but I’m finished with the Foggy Lake tavern, one of the last large areas in Roadwarden - well, at least when it comes to the things the PC can do here, not its “actual” size. ; ) The keeper of this place knows more about the peninsula than anyone in the North, but she rarely shares her knowledge for free.

I was missing this feeling - during the previous few months I was focused on small content chunks and little areas, and now I was able to truly explore this place and the personalities of its dwellers. I’m quite happy with all the unique interactions you’ll find here, inventing them was such a pleasure. I can see how my XP grind affects the structure of specific scenes, as well as the overall quality of writing. It’s been going great, and I’m learning so much!

This place is especially unique since some players will reach it after maybe and hour and a half of playtime (or a minute of speedrunning), encountering it as a first large shelter in the game and the introduction to the “civilized” part of the world, while for others it’s going to be a spot reached after 10+ hours, and in such a case its impact will be very different. I had to take both of these scenarios into consideration, and well, I can’t wait to show you the results. ^^





3
allow the typing of anything and just toLowerCase() internally

Haha, TRUE! I left it behind like a year ago, thinking it's good enough for now. Thank you for reminding me it would be good to adjust it. It's now done. : ) Just in time before I make a big screenshot update for stores and such.

4
Icon update! After almost two years of thinking there’s “something” wrong with them, I believe that’s a good step. ^^







5
When your role-playing choice may be used to manipulate an NPC so you can get on their good side... What do you do? Stay honest, or tell them what they want to hear?


6
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.

7
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. 

8
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.


Thank you for asking and please let me know if you have additional questions. : )

9
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.










10
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.






11
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.



2) The new “wait” option, a quality-of-life addition to the UI.



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.



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. ^^

12
You can now find the newest Roadwarden devlog on Itch.io, 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!



13
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" 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.

14
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. ^^

15
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.


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