Development Update #16
Hey folks, hope you're well!
I've got two things I'm excited to talk about, one is regarding a re-release of the first part of the game (the content that was in the demo) updated with all the rewriting, new art, new music, etc, and the other is about the addition of a feature into the game which wasn't originally planned. First though, I'm going to post the usual demo stuff. Just a note--no new music this time around, I was actually doing mainly sound effects and atmospheric noises last month, and it'd be odd to upload 1 second clips of sound effects, haha.
Continuing with posting more updated character designs, I'll be sharing three more this month:
First is Ehsanh (one of the main companions in the game).
After rewrites, Ehsanh is now the commander of Karnata's army and serves as the right hand of the monarch (another character you'll be meeting soon enough!)
Next up is Swathi.
Swathi is the captain of the band of pirates you'll be able to join on one of the plotlines.
Last character today is Sana
Sana is Swathi's girlfriend, and I would give more information on her, but I'm afraid its spoilers!
Last bit of art I'll post today is a couple variations on a background I particularly liked--I think moving forward I'll just post one background and a few of its variations instead of a handful of different backgrounds to keep things fresh when the full game is out.
Okay! Onto the exciting stuff.
As I mentioned at the start, I have decided to re-release the demo with all the updated content that will appear in the final game. A lot has gotten changed in the writing, and most of the visuals have been updated as well. I haven't decided when I'm going to release that because there are a few things I'll have to do to cut it off from the rest of the content of the full game but I decided it would be a nice thing to do since I'm taking longer than I originally estimated to finish this project. If you would rather wait for the entire full thing, that's cool! No obligations to play the teaser once I put it up. It'll be for backers only, too.
Although a good portion of the game was rewritten and expanded to include the new characters unlocked from stretch goals, the basic framework of the game has basically been the same since I first wrote it out--no big mechanics added. That is no longer the case!
I've been inspired lately by a few things, old point and click adventure games, dungeons and dragons, and early fantasy setting video games, and what i've taken away from those is a desire to increase player freedom while playing, so I'm adding a couple of things. The biggest one is a map of the main region that will allow players to have a little more control over where they go, and when. I think visual novels are prone to losing a lot of their magic because of constantly having to rehash stuff at the beginning in order to get to new content/new choices. Eldet has been largely designed to minimize that problem, but I think the map will further help to cut down on "fast forwarding" through content to get to new things.
The other change is a sort of beefing up of the dialog system without making it too cumbersome or intimidating to handle. Writing dialog choices for games is tricky because you want to get a good range of options for the player without reducing it to "good person, neutral person, bad person" (well, some games use that system anyway) but I'm trying to avoid that as much as possible. Eldet isn't an RPG, there's a set protagonist who comes with his own personality, but within that scope there's still a large amount of variation in ways of handling situations, and I sort of want to expand on that. There's a proto-version of what I intend to do in the demo but hadn't quite figured it out yet at the time, and that's little tags to concisely explain what the intent of the dialog option is, so I'm working on streamlining the tags and figuring out the best way to redesign the dialog boxes to accommodate that.
The bottom line is I want to expand player freedom and take the story off rails as much as I can, player agency is a tricky thing in a visual novel because the story just sort of happens to you, but I want to let you have an amount of control as well.
That's all for this month, hope you have a good October!