We're once again blown away with the amount of amazing feedback we received for the previous alpha update. We appreciate the constructive discussion, and we'll go into a few design and dungeon progress updates that we made following the 0.35 alpha.
A tear between worlds
This is an area between Koe and the real world that will be available where the latest alpha finished. One of the largest changes with this area is the battles- they're triggers from people in the real world instead of random encounters. There is a language mechanic used to get an edge in battle, so it might be a good idea to look at the LanGrid from time to time to familiarise yourself with the kana if you need to.
Our biggest progression update is that we've given the player more to do in these areas. The water temple was a mostly bottom-to-top progression with just a single puzzle, but we wanted progress to feel rewarding (at least, without getting a player stuck in one area for more than a few minutes). Most of these areas will use language mechanics, though we've incorporated a few traditional design choices to not distract from the game feel.
A new tutorial
We've created a new tutorial to replace the previous dream sequence, we're playing with the idea of giving instant control to the player as soon as they start a new game, as the downtime of the original created a pretty large break as soon as you entered Sakuracho.
Opening up Sakuracho
Invisible walls- you hate them, we hate them, we removed them.
It took us a while to make the areas we open up feel meaningful, we had to shuffle a few events and create some new ones.
The largest amount of work came from this area, a train pass-through in a Kyoto-inspired rural field. We've added quite a few new events to this area, so be sure to check it out as soon as you enter Sakuracho. This area is available immediately once you move to the village, so it might be worthwhile to start a new game as a few new things happen here.
This is additional progression from the world update we're expecting to release very soon, as soon as the remainder of the player-requested updates have been implemented with a certain level of polish. It'll obviously be better to play than just taking our word for it, as always.
That's all for now! See you again in a few weeks.
The Strawberry Games Team.