It has been a while since we last saw each other, hasn't it, LSF?
There are several features that we are either in the process of or have already added to the game that I am very excited about.
-When we were working out the combat system, we wanted to try something a little different. A lot of games have the gameplay and the visual novel aspects in completely opposite corners. Another thing that haunts RPGs is the grind. I'm not a fan of grinding levels out, and I don't know too many people who are. To combat this, our programmer has been working on a system to help merge things together. In Ballad of Lost Adventurers, you won't unlock new abilities by killing monsters on your quests. They'll drop some loot to help augment weapons, but you won't be playing the number crunching game with them.
Instead, to unlock character abilities for both Noah and his party, you will be able to take side quests. These side quests will tell the stories of the characters on their adventures, merging the story with the gameplay. Some quests will have different options in how you complete them. These different routes will offer different rewards to the player, to include new merchants, abilities, and weapon augments. While the main story will follow Noah, several of these side quests will take place with different party members taking the lead role.
-Another major thing we have added to the gameplay is weaponry will not be a constant drop. While armor and clothing will change throughout the game (tied to story), the weaponry will stay the same. Instead, you will be able to augment your weapons with stat changing crystals. With these crystals, augments, and other enchantments from merchants you can help, your characters will be customizable to fit your preferred strategy.
-One thing we are thinking about is limiting the number of abilities that a character can have equipped at a time, similar to Diablo 3.
-Originally, we were going to see if we could make it real time, similar to Final Fantasy 7. While the programmer is still tinkering with the idea, we've decided to stick with the more traditional Final Fantasy 1 turn-based strategy for now.
-We are always up for new ideas about things to add to the gameplay. We have some limitations, but we've found some interesting ways to get things done in the ren'py engine.
-I have no idea how long the game is going to be now. Our writer keeps outlining more side quests and then, after putting on his programmer hat, codes them out. He's having way too much fun with this.
-One of the biggest problems we have right now is the lack of a GUI artist. Without the artist, the code is nothing more than an ugly mess of whatever the writer can design. He might be doing an amazing job with the writing, programming, music, SFX, and whatever he can gets his hands on, but his GUI art... I can't show it. It would offend the eyes.
-No idea when we will have a demo for testing. Gotta fix the GUI problem first. Until then, a shiny new battle sprite for you all to enjoy!