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A love letter to J-RPG classics from the Playstation era like Final Fantasy, Breath of Fire, Suikoden, and Persona.
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Disastercake

5,631 backers pledged $195,528 to help bring this project to life.

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Beta v5.1 Live!

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Hello, Friend!

I just wanted to let you know that I made a quick hotfix update to address some critical bugs our amazing beta testers found in v5.  This hotfix is called v5.1.  It also prototypes a different type of Game Over...

What should happen on Game Over?

Placeholder Game Over UI
Placeholder Game Over UI

After getting feedback from internal and external Soul Saga Beta testers, I noticed that Game Over screens caused them to stop playing the game. They weren't angry at the game, and they still enjoyed the time they spent with it, but they had forgotten when they last saved and didn't want to replay through parts they already finished. This made me consider how some games handle death differently. I would prefer an option that keeps players happy with Soul Saga and staying in the game, but I know that Game Over penalties are kind of a big deal for a lot of players. So I'm wondering how you feel about it.

In Beta v5.1 I have changed the boot back to the Main Menu with a bump to the last Inn you visited.  In Mithos' case, this will be his bedroom by default.  Feedback so far has been good regarding the change.  Players are able to recover their items, prepare for their revenge, and not lose the progress they made between their death and the last save point.  They also still feel penalized by having to walk back to carry on their adventure and having to restock their lunchboxes they used on that fight that defeated them.  At a glance, this solution appears to have fixed the issue of the Game Over screen breaking the momentum of the game.

So what do you think?  Should you return to the last Inn where you can lick your wounds and trek back to the dungeon to try again?  Or should it delete all of your progress since you last saved?  Please cast your vote in this forum here:

http://forums.disastercake.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=644

Thank You!

Thank you for being an awesome fan, and thank you to all of the hard working beta testers that are helping make Soul Saga great!

Soul Saga - Update 17 - Beta v5 is Live!

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Hello, Friend!

How has your spring been going? The weather has been kind to my part of the world lately. I’ve not had time to enjoy any of it because of all the work I’ve been doing on Soul Saga, but it’s worth it because I have some awesome news today!

Beta v5 is Live!

Soul Saga’s next beta build is ready and uploaded! If you are a Kickstarter backer that pledged at the beta tier or pre-ordered the beta from the Humble Bundle widget, then it should be ready on your Humble Bundle download page.

Beta v5 is a big beta update. It contains early implementations for the lunchbox cooking, restaurant, quest system, towns, world map, costumes, and Mithos’ Saga! The tutorials are still being worked on and will debut in the final versions of Soul Saga, so for now I will cover some of the important things for you here:

Dragontree Village Points of Interest

Right now there are 6 points of interest in Dragontree Village:

  • Blacksmith
  • Item Shop
  • Restaurant
  • Amber Alchemist
  • Mithos’ Home
  • Job Board

You’ll notice the NPCs are just kind of hanging around lazily right now. In a later beta version they will have a lot more life injected into them! However, the NPCs at the counters can be interacted with to open up the shop menus.

Blacksmith

At the moment the Blacksmith will sell you some basic starter items. In a later update the Blacksmith will be implemented further to upgrade your primary weapon for each character. At the moment the Blacksmith also can be used to sell items, though this may change in the future.

Item Shop

The item shop at the moment is more like a grocery store for your Lunchbox Cooking needs. All of the materials you need for crafting can be found here. You can also sell the junk items you gather while slaying enemies in Pleasant Woods.

Restaurant

The restaurant serves a multi-purpose function where it both allows you to purchase pre-made lunchboxes for a premium price, or create your own meals with your own ingredients.

If you would like to purchase a pre-made meal, chat with the lady at the counter. If you’d like to make your own, then please talk with the man near the back door.

Amber Alchemist

The amber alchemist sells you amber and stratagems. At the moment her collection is limited and quite expensive. This may be adjusted based on Beta tester feedback.

Mithos' Home

You can identify Mithos’ home from the unkept front lawn. You’ll also notice the interior is equally disorganized and messy. The main point of interest in Mithos’ home is that you can sleep in his bed located in the room on the second floor.

Job Board

The Job Board in Dragontree Village is adorned with a beautiful visage of the towns history. The local villagers put up their requests here, and Mithos can take them. At the moment, you will find 6 kill quests that send you into Pleasant Woods hunting the local pests. The amount of quests and their objective varieties will be updated in alter Beta versions. You can turn your quests in to the man standing next to the board. The way quests are turned in may be changed in a later beta.

Where Is Dragontree Village?

The Beta drops you off into the action of the Pleasant Woods, so if you want to visit Dragontree you’ll have to head left from the Pleasant Woods entrance to exit to the world map. At the moment the world map allows you a straight shot to Dragontree Village.

Equipment

Each equipment is assigned to a specific category, and only 1 of each category can be equipped at a time. In a later Beta version I will add icons and text that will make it very apparent which item belongs to which category, but for now there is a lack of description and items. So don’t be alarmed if you put on the apron and it automagically removes Mithos’ shirt from his equipment!

Stat Distribution is Semi-Automatic

In the previous Beta version, you would apply points to specific stats of your choice on each level up. This system has been replaced with the Stratagem system that was introduced to you in Update 16. If you don’t have a stratagem equipped, then it will use a basic “balanced” stat allocation.

Placeholder Map System

There is a placeholder map system implemented that can be accessed by pressing ‘M’. This is a third-party map system I picked up from the Unity Asset store. The asset store can sometimes help a developer get an edge to find systems they already need, but unfortunately in this case the system was abandoned by it’s author. As such, you’ll notice it’s very buggy, which is why I disabled it by default. I will be gutting this map system out and replacing it with another for a future update.

Alert System

There is a very handy alert system that will give you punctual updates on things such as unlocking a checkpoint, quest progress, challenge completes, and level ups through quest turn-ins. The messages will slide in on the bottom right hand corner of the screen, and promptly disappear after a few seconds.

Checkpoints!

The Pleasant Woods are huuuuuge! So it’s a good thing that there are checkpoints set in strategic locations for your convenience! You can make use of these to get around quickly or save your game.

Combat

Mithos and Elise sport some placeholder skills at the moment, and will be elaborated on further in a later Beta. Please don’t be alarmed that there’s not the same variety as Garen’s Saga at the moment, because that will change once I have more time to implement them!

Story and Cutscenes

Just a heads up that the story and cutscenes right now are just a skeleton of what they will be in later versions of the game. Please don’t mind the placeholder scenes currently shown.

Costumes

In the beta you will find the Kickstarter Mithos and Elise costumes in your inventory if you’d like to try them out! In the final version of Soul Saga the costumes will be a hidden reward that you can earn.

Mini-Game!

The beta also sports a fun mini-game where you chase the mysterious blue Torne around the map by controlling your allies.

What Do You Think?

This update is a giant step forward for Soul Saga and all of its fans and backers. Soul Saga could never have gotten this great without you and your amazing feedback. Your opinion is extremely valuable, and I would love to hear what you think. We have the prefect place for your great ideas and feedback in this Voting Booth forum here where everyone can vote on them, and any bugs oyu find would be greatly appreciated if they ended up in the Bug Forum where I can squash them out! When you have time, please join myself and other Soul Saga fans on the Disastercake forums in this update’s thread here. Thank you very much for reading and have a great day!

Update 16 – Mithos and Elise Saga Preview!

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Hello, Friend!

It’s great to see you! How have you been? Since the last update a lot has progressed with Soul Saga, and everyone working with me is really excited to show this update off!

Mithos Saga!

Mithos’ Saga in the first Soul Saga game will cover his early teens. I struggled with the decision of whether I wanted to show the childhood through short cinematic flashbacks, or if I wanted to have you experience the entire epic-ness of it all. After a lot of deliberation, it became obvious that there is just so much going on in this era that an entire game is required to capture it all!

By having Mithos and Garen start off in their younger years, there is a lot of potential for character and world development that will happen as the Soul Saga series progresses. I am SUPER excited to be able to share this fun story and gorgeous artwork with you!

The beautiful collage above was created by Akaneko and will be available as a wallpaper for backers who pledged for those. Wallpapers will be available with the next update along with the updated beta build.

Mithos' Airship!

Mithos has an airship! In the first Soul Saga, Mithos cruises around in a modest Koi model design as he explores the blue skies of Medonia. I’ll go into more detail on airship combat and exploration in later updates. Mithos’ Koi airship was originally designed by Kanipanda and then touched up by Zahra Haghiri.

Dragontree Village

Dragontree Village is the first town Mithos visits. Dragontree Village has a job board for quests, a general store for amber and equipment, blacksmith for weapon upgrades, a restaurant where you can fill up your lunchbox or cook meals, and Mithos’ home. In the next beta update you will get to visit Dragontree Village and help Mithos leave his first marks in the world on his journey to become the strongest Guildmaster! All of the 3d environment art in Soul Saga was created by Zahra Haghiri, and the Dragontree Village concept art was created by Yoshiro Mori.

Pleasant Woods

Pleasant Woods is a small area right outside of Dragontree Village. This is the first dangerous area Mithos explores as he takes his first step of adventure into the huge world of Soul Saga. There are a variety of creatures native to this area, such as Torne, Squabble, Honey Jackets, and Croakers. It is also an abundant source of resources such as cooking ingredients and lost treasure.

World Map

World maps are a feature many classic RPGs have. I noticed many modern RPGs have sometimes excluded the world map from their games. With Soul Saga I wanted to make sure I captured that same feeling from the classics, so each of the larger islands in Medonia has its own World Map area to explore on foot! The following image is a screenshot of world map exploration.

Equipment Slots

The way equipment worked in previous updates is that there were just generic slots that anything could be equipped to. This meant you could have something like 4 leather jackets and equip them all at the same time. This has evolved a bit to help with balancing and progression pacing. Now there are still 4 generic slots to equip in, but equipment pieces now have classifications, and multiple classifications cannot be equipped at the same time. This means that a leather jacket would now be a body classification, and only 1 could be equipped at a time. There are currently 6 different classifications:

  • Head
  • Body
  • Offhand
  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Trinket

Trinkets are special in that multiple of them can be equipped, unlike other classifications.

Stratagems

Stratagems are a new addition to Soul Saga that dictate how your stats are allocated. A Stratagem can be equipped from the equip menu in the Stratagem slot. Each character has a single Stratagem slot. Stratagems can be purchased from vendors, earned from quests, or found hidden throughout the world. Stratagems work like any other piece of equipment, so multiple must be owned if you would like multiple characters to use that Strategem at the same time. The way a Stratagem works is that is pushes around the energy in the owner to enhance them in different ways.

Some examples:

  • The Soldier Stratagem moves energy away from the Support stat and moves it to the health stat. This allows the character to have more HP at the expense of less Support.
  • The Field Medic Stratagem move points away from the Attack stat and puts it into the Support stat. This will allow a character to heal and augment allies more efficiently at the expense of not dealing as much damage to enemies.

Stratagems can also contain passive skills, such as reducing damage taken from different sources, counter attacking, and other nifty abilities.

Lunchbox Balancing

Some feedback I got regarding lunchboxes is that they are a little strong at the moment. I’ve attempted to balance these out by implementing a new lunchbox item in Mithos’ journey called the Seared Sushi. This item tests more dynamic situational functionality. Specifically, the seared sushi will heal twice as much out of combat as in combat. This means that using it in combat will not be as effective, but will still allow for the food to be very helpful in regaining health between battles so the characters remain fresh. This will hopefully make amber skill healing more viable compared to the lunchbox items.

Armor and Resist

Two new stats have been added to characters: Armor and Resist. In many RPGs, armor and resist calculations are generally kind of complex. When you think of HP, that stat is simple to calculate. If an enemy deals 100 hp damage to me, then if I add 500 HP to my character, I can take 5 more hits from that enemy before dying. However, armor and resist stats are usually a lot more complex. They use special diminishing returns equations that can be difficult to comprehend with head math. I’m not a fan of these complex equations, so I was initially planning on not having any armor or resist stats. After some planning and designing, I decided that armor and resist stats could be fun if they were simplistic enough to understand. So I implemented Soul Saga’s current Armor and Resist stats, which use a very basic equation: 1 point for 1 damage reduction.

For each point of armor, damage is reduced by 1 point from physical attacks. For each point of resist, damage is reduced by 1 point from magical sources.

There are very few items and Stratagems that give any armor or resist, but those that do can be utilized to make a character quite tanky in the right situations.

Smarter Enemy Artificial Intelligence

I’ve been working with behavior trees and pathfinding tools to come up with a smarter enemy artificial intelligence (A.I.) on the field. I’m still tweaking with it to get the perfect results, but I’m very happy with the progress that has been made so far with it!

Pathfinding

In the past beta versions, the field A.I. was very simple. It would simply check to see if you were in its line of sight, then would run at you. This is a basic A.I. that many games utilize, even some AAA RPGs. The downside to the A.I. being this basic is that they get stuck on obstacles in the field, like rocks, walls ,etc. They simply aren’t smart enough to find their ways around it without more of a brain behind them. For Soul Saga, I didn’t want the A.I. to suffer from this, so I implemented in pathfinding so that the enemies can navigate their way around.

Walking vs Running

In previous beta versions, you could only run. If an enemy wasn’t facing you, then you could simply run up behind it and catch it off guard. When the next beta build is live, you will notice this has drastically changed.

Now you can walk or run while on the field. If you run, then nearby enemies will hear you and move to that location you last made a sound at. This means that if you want to get the jump on an enemy from behind, you actually have to take the extra care to walk up behind them. You can also use this technique to lure an enemy you don’t want to fight away form their post if there is something like a rock that you can maneuver around so they don’t see you in time.

Costumes

Another new equipment slot is called the costume slot. This will allow us to create different color or outfit variations for the characters for you to obtain. I am super excited to announce the first costumes that are available…

Kickstarter Mithos and Elise Costumes!

That’s right! You can obtain costumes to play as Mithos and Elise with their chibi designs from the Kickstarter! Taro and Max will also have costumes available to them. The outfits will be hidden in the game for you to unlock and wear to sport your nostalgic Kickstarter pride.

Saving and Loading

I’ve begun implementing the saving and loading system into the next Beta build. I would like to request beta testers to please test this functionality thoroughly and please report any bugs to the Disastercake Bug Reporting Forum. Saving will be enabled at specific save points throughout the game.

Achievement System

I’ve begun work on the achievement system, and there are a few basic achievements currently implemented. When an achievement has been completed, there will be a pop-up notification on the right hand side of the screen stating so. I’m a big fan of achievement systems, and I have many ideas for them in Soul Saga. If you have any ideas, please add them to this thread started by fans on the Disastercake Forums. We’d all love to hear your thoughts!

Music

So far, there are 4 composers that have contributed to the Soul Saga soundtrack. Their order in number of songs contributed is:

  • Ryan Camus
  • Aivi Tran
  • Surasshu
  • Shannon Mason

During the Kickstarter, Aivi was planning on doing the soundtrack by herself, which was estimated around 20 tracks in total. However, she ended up getting long term gig with a large animation company soon after Soul Saga’s Kickstarter campaign ended. Aivi has finished contributing what she can to Soul Saga, which is about 10 songs. Surasshu came on mid-way through the project, but works on the same projects as Aivi, so also had limited time. Shannon Mason guest composed to help out a little, but we were still lacking in the amount of songs Soul Saga’s enhanced story and size demanded of it.

Soul Saga was initially scoped at 20 songs, but I felt that the story demanded more of it. It was becoming obvious we’d either have to leave the scope of the soundtrack at 20 songs and cut the new additions, or pick up a different composer to complete everything we needed. I ended up meeting Ryan Camus and bringing him on board. Within a couple months he almost doubled our soundtrack size. You heard some of his work in the previous Betas with the “Item Get”, “Goodnight”, and “Game Over” themes. In this version you will get to hear his World Map theme.

I’m excited to show you the amazing work all of the composers who contributed to Soul Saga created. For now, here is the World Map theme by Ryan you can hear in the next Beta version:

Release Date Pending

I am currently analyzing the release date for Soul Saga, and we are coming very close to having a solid one. Progress is going smooth, and many different areas of development are starting to reach their finish line. Once Soul Saga is at a state that I know nothing can delay it, I will let you know when the release date is. I will try to leave at least 2 or 3 months before the release from the time of the announcement of that date.

Unity 5 Porting

Soul Saga utilizes the Unity game engine, and recently they released their next big version: Unity 5. Unity 5 probably won’t bring anything different to Soul Saga’s aesthetics since we use very optimized shaders, but it will help me on the backend with porting to the consoles once the PC/Linux/Mac version is complete. This porting will cause some delays as a lot of third party tools I use are still porting themselves to Unity 5, and the lighting system has completely changed and will require I redo all of my previous work on the lighting. In the end it is necessary, as tools and support for previous Unity versions become non-existent, as is evident with Unity’s history.

Next Beta Update

The next Beta update will contain the first portion of Mithos’ journey. You’ll be able to explore Dragontree Village, the first town, and the nearby starter area named Pleasant Woods. There is also some story that unfolds. I will post another update will the next beta build is ready in a couple weeks.

In Other Kickstarter News...

I couldn’t have made Soul Saga without your support on Kickstarter, and there are many other talented creators out there in the same boat I once was! I’d like to take this moment to share their project with you for your consideration. Please take a look at their Kickstarter pages by following the links below. =D

EDGE OF ETERNITY (PC, MAC, LINUX, PS4, XBOX ONE)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/midgarstudio/edge-of-eternity-pc-mac-linux-ps4-xbox-one

Edge of Eternity completed their Kickstarter campaign, but you can pre-order the game to continue to help development from their site here: http://www.eoegame.com/index.php/store/

A note from the creators of “Edge of Eternity”:

“Edge of Eternity is an indie tribute to JRPG classics. Explore a universe blending fantasy with science-fiction, intense ATB battles and branching story. The Game is inspired by the great JRPG tradition for the strategical turn-based combats, the characters progression and by the latest success of western RPG for the vast open worlds to explore with a non-linear stories.

In a few words, Edge Of Eternity is all about exploring, building up your characters, fighting and living an adventure to remember.

They’ve been funded and unlocked the collaboration with the great composer Mitsuda Yasunori! They also have an early alpha demo if you want to try the game.”

G.A.M. (GAMES, ANIME, AND MORE) CONVENTION 2015

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nz17/gam-games-anime-and-more-convention-2015

A note from the creators of “Games, Anime, and More!”:

"We are Kickstarting what will be an annual pop-cultural festival in Utah. The G.A.M. Convention will feature games, anime, and more. (Think along the lines of Anime Expo, PAX, or Comic Con.) It will bring together people of all ages to have fun, celebrate, and enjoy good times indulging their “nerdy” passions! Everyone interested in learning more about the event should visit our Web site at [ http://gam.rocks/ ].

If you would like to be an awesome patron of the G.A.M. Convention by pledging your support, please visit our Kickstarter fund-raising page at [ http://kck.st/1F4hJeL ]. (If nothing else, visiting our page will let you see some ladies cosplaying as Sailor Moon characters.)

There is also some promo graphics at < http://gam.rocks/ > if you’d like to help advertise!

Thank you everyone, and game on!"

What Do You Think?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how Soul Saga is progressing. Please let me know what you think on the forums in this update’s thread here:

http://forums.disastercake.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=608

Thank you for being an awesome fan and a great friend! I can’t wait to get Soul Saga into your hands, so hang on tight while I work on bringing you some even more awesome news in the future!

Soul Saga - Update 15 - Battle System

22 likes

Hello, Friend!

How have you been? I hope your new year has been going well so far. Soul Saga has made some major progress in the past 3 weeks and I just couldn’t wait any longer to share it with you! I’ve just put Soul Saga Beta v4 up on your Humble Bundle download page (if you’re a beta tester).

Beta Access!

If you’re not a beta tester yet, please consider supporting Soul Saga by purchasing the Soul Saga Guildmaster’s Collection! You’ll get access to the private Disastercake forums where we all vote on gameplay features, and lots of digital goodies when they’re complete, like the art book, soundtrack, a copy of Soul Saga, and beta access!

http://www.humblebundle.com/store/product/soulsaga_guildmastersedition/skdTlswi1kd9k

If you've already bought a copy of the game and just want the beta access, you can grab that here!

http://www.humblebundle.com/store/product/soulsaga_beta/skdTlswi1kd9k

If you should have Beta access but haven't gotten it yet, please put the e-mail from your Kickstarter survey into this Humble Bundle key resender:

https://www.humblebundle.com/resender

Soul Saga could never have been this great without you, so thank you very much for your support! =D

Enhanced Battle System

The biggest enhancement in this update is to the Battle System. Combat systems in a RPG are one of the most important aspects. I’ve spent a lot of time with Soul Saga’s battle system to bring you a unique and fun experience. There is a lot to go over, so let’s start from the top!

Team Based Turn Order!

In the previous Beta versions turn order was determined by speed. My biggest concern with this type of system is that it is very hard to balance. It’s also very hard, as a player, to determine when speed is more valuable than something like health or attack. With Soul Saga’s new battle system I set out to try and reinvent how this turn order works exactly and I came up with something that works extremely well: Team Based turns.

In this new system an entire team will move at the same time, moving any character in any order they want. When they have completed every character’s turn, then the opposing team gets to move all of their characters. Being able to act in this way allows for the player to have a lot more control over their character’s actions to build countless strategies. For example, perhaps you want Garen to stun the Spearman to disable his counter attack before Miera moves in for the kill with Omnistab. Or perhaps you want Miera to Expose weakness on the Swordsman to give Garen that extra boost to his execute to break through the Heavy Armor. The choice is yours! But the strategy doesn’t stop there…

Intervening!

Intervening allows a character to interject into the enemy’s turn at the cost of 1 IP (intervene point) to immediately act. IP is gained by using the defend skill. Each time a character defends they gain 1 IP, up to a maximum of 2. Intervene can be used in a lot of different ways, like to strategically place debuffs at the perfect times, heal characters that are at high risk of dying, or to throw up a defend skill to prevent incoming damage. It adds a whole other dimension to the strategic possibilities of Soul Saga’s combat system.

Ambushing And Flanking!

One of my favorite things about Soul Saga is that while on the field you can see your enemies. While that’s pretty cool itself, this update has made it even cooler by giving you bonuses for attacking your opponents from behind! On the flip side, you will be equally penalized if the enemy gets you by the tail! The different combat initiations that can occur are:

  • Even Ground – Occurs when both the player and enemy are facing each other on the field. The team to act first is randomly chosen based on a coin flip.
  • Flanking – If either the player or enemy approaches their target from the side, that team is guaranteed to act first.
  • Ambush – If either the player or the enemy are facing away from the other when combat initiates, the team that did the ambushing will get 2 turns in a row at the beginning of combat!

Shenanigan

Shenanigan is a very interesting ability that will be used a lot throughout the game once it’s implemented further. It will be a way for you to interact with different elements on the combat field like pulling levers, breaking an ally free from sticky spider webbing, and many other useful functions.

Reviving

Shenanigan’s most useful feature is its ability to revive a fallen ally. When I designed Soul Saga’s combat system I set out to find a way to add a unique spin to reviving fallen team members. The classic way of just dropping an item on them is good, but I really wanted something that was a bit more interesting. Enter Shenanigan’s most important feature: reviving fallen allies!

The way Shenanigan works when reviving fallen allies is pretty cool. When an ally falls in combat, they gain a Death Penalty debuff. If they already have a debuff, a “Stack” is added to it which increases its count. The amount of Death Penalty stacks determines how difficult it is for the character to be revived.

For example, the first time Garen falls in battle, Miera only has to use Shenanigan on him once. The second time requires 2 uses of Shenanigan, the third 3 times, the fourth 4 times, and so on in that manner until the debuff caps at 10.

This system puts a lot of value and strategy into making sure that your allies stay alive since you can’t easily revive them 99 times in a flash like other RPG combat systems.

Lunchbox

The lunchbox is Soul Saga’s unique spin on the classic item system. When I started working on Soul Saga I set out to design a way to make combat as strategic as possible. One of the things that I found would often remove strategy elements from RPGs were having access to a warehouse of items in your pockets. I had played games where you managed character’s individual inventories that attempted to counter this, but those systems get very heavy and bogged down with micro management. So I tried to find a fun and interesting way to turn the classic item system into a more thoughtful and strategic system. In the end, the Lunchbox was invented!

Each character carries their own lunchbox. Each meal has different effects and has a certain number of charges before the lunchbox becomes empty. Later, when the cooking is implemented, you will get a “taste” of how this system works and the great amount of variety in the cooking recipes!

Beta Testers will find their lunchbox is currently filled with Officer’s Rations, which heal for 500 HP and has 4 charges. There is currently no way to refill the lunchbox, so use them wisely!

Flee

Because of how important battle initiation is, I wanted to make sure fleeing wasn’t able to be abused. So the way fleeing works is that each character must flee individually, and they only have a 30% chance to successfully run away. If one character gets away, but the rest are stuck behind and fall in battle, the game will still continue on the field.

New Character Skills!

Garen's Skills

Last update we were introduced to Garen’s skills, but a little has evolved in the past few weeks. So let’s take a moment to reiterate over them and highlight the changes.

Rage: Garen’s abilities consume a unqiue resource called Rage. He builds rage by taking damage and also dealing it with Raging Strike.

  • Anger Management (Passive) – Garen gains 10 rage when struck by damage.
  • Raging Strike – Garen strikes the target for (Attack x1) damage and gains 10 rage.
  • Hail of Knives – Garen consumes 10 rage per enemy to throw a knife at each of them for (Attack x1) damage. This is a ranged attack.
  • Overpower – Garen consumes 30 rage to deal (Attack x1) and stun the target for their next turn.
  • Execute – Garen consumes all of his rage to deal ( (Attack x0.2) x ( CurrentRage x 0.2 ) ). If Garen kills the target, his entire party is healed for (Support x1).

Miera's Skills

New to this update is Miera’s skill load out! Miera is a powerful and exciting character that specializes in swiftly out maneuvering her foes to expose their weaknesses.

Energy: Miera’s unique resource is called Energy. Miera gains energy naturally each turn, from Swift Strike, and from counter attacking with Kill Stance.

  • Energetic – Miera gains 10 energy at the beginning her turn.
  • Swift Strike – Miera strikes the target dealing (Attack x1) damage and generating 10 energy.
  • Kill Stance – Miera readies herself to pounce on any opponent that approaches her. If she is struck by a melee attack, she will immediately counter dealing (Attack x1.5) damage and generates 10 energy. Miera will also gain a shield that absorbs the first ( Support x1 ) damage she receives.
  • Expose Weakness – Miera consumes 50 energy to strikes deep into the target for (Attack x1) damage and causing them to take (Support x0.5) extra damage from physical attacks.
  • Omnistab – Miera consumes all of her energy to strike the target once for each 10 energy consumed, dealing (Attack x0.3) each attack.

Enemy Skills Implemented!

I’ve also begun implementing in the enemy skills. In Soul Saga I want the enemy’s to have as unique of skills as the main hero’s to make Soul Saga’s Combat system as fun as it can be!

Swordsman

  • Heavy Armor – Reduces damage taken from Physical attacks by 50%.
  • Protect Ally – If the selected ally is targeted by an enemy, jump in the way

Spearman

  • Counter Attack – Can counter attack any melee attacks.
  • Multi-Strike – Attacks 3 times for 50% damage each strike.

Gunman

  • Aim Shot – Charge up an attack to unleash it the next round for 3x normal damage.

Lots Of Synergy!

As you can probably tell just from the descriptions, there is a LOT of synergy and combinations that can occur. Not just among the enemies themselves, but also in how the skills of the player react. I would go into detail, but I’d really like you to experiment yourself to find out what they all do and how to counter them!

Difficult Mode Enhancements!

Soul Saga’s difficulty modes have also seen more implementation to them this update. When designing functionality for the difficulty modes I really wanted each one to have its own unique personality. If the modes simply dealt more damage or had more HP, it would just entice power leveling instead of actually bringing a new strategy. Well we can’t have that in a game as cool as Soul Saga, now can we!

In Soul Saga the different difficulty modes actually alter the way the enemies act and the skills they have. In higher difficulties the enemies are a bit more relentless and mean with their targeting, and they have many extra skills to enhance their combat prowess. Here are some example from the enemies currently in the Beta v4.

Swordsman

Cake

  • Randomly chooses to either protect a target or attack the player.
  • Protecting a target will consume the swordsman’s turn.

Vanille

  • Will always try to protect a target with high priority (Any Gunman or anyone with below 30% HP). If a priority target doesn’t exist, he will attack the player.
  • Protecting a target will consume the swordsman’s turn.

Jacked

  • Protecting an ally does not consume a turn, so the swordsman will always be protecting an ally.
  • Will attack a random player character every turn.
  • When protecting a targeted ally, the swordsman will also counter attack the player’s character.

Spearman

Cake Mode

  • Will randomly choose to either add a Counter Attack buff to himself or attack.
  • Adding a counter attack buff only lasts 1 round and consumes a turn.

Vanille Mode

  • Always has Counter Attack buff enabled passively.
  • Will randomly choose to use either a normal attack or multi-strike attack.

Jacked Mode

  • Always has counter attack buff enabled passively.
  • Will always multi-strike a random target.

Gunman

Cake Mode

  • Randomly chooses to either attack or Aim Shot a random target.
  • Aim Shot takes 2 turns to fire.

Vanille Mode

  • Randomly chooses to either attack or Aim Shot a random target.
  • Aim Shot takes 1 turn to fire.

Jacked Mode

  • Will always Aim Shot and always targets the character with the lowest HP.
  • Aim Shot takes 1 turn to fire.

Where's Disaster Mode?!

You may notice that Disaster Mode is not mentioned, but fear not my friend! I will go into more detail on Disaster mode in a future update.

Other Cool Stuff!

I was able to add a lot of other neat stuff into Soul Saga since the last update. Here’s a few you might notice in Beta v4:

  • Can see target data by hovering over the character.
  • Added a secret item into the first scene. Many more to come!
  • Can sleep in the bunks in the dorm to replenish HP and AP.
  • Quest items now appear in inventory.
  • Placeholder Game Over text implemented.
  • The “Item Get!”, “Good Night”, and “Game Over” themes were composed by Ryan Camus. Ryan has done a lot of work on Soul Saga’s soundtrack and I’m excited to be able to show you his amazing work!

A Special Shout Out!

I’d like to make a special shout out to all of the beta testers. They’ve been doing an amazing job finding bugs and helping me squash them. I’m amazed at the talent you all have and I couldn’t do this without you, so thank you from the bottom of my heart!

And Thank You!

And thank you so much for being a great fan! I would love to hear your thoughts about the battle system so far, so please drop a comment or join us in this update’s forum thread here:

http://forums.disastercake.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=571

Seeya next time! =D

Soul Saga - Update 14

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Happy New Years!

Happy New Years! Let's kick this year off with a juicy Soul Saga Beta update!

Beta v3 is Live!

Everyone who pledged extra for the beta access should now be able to access the latest beta that just went live today through their Humble Bundle accounts. Today's is titled "Beta v3".

What's New?

Since Soul Saga's Kickstarter about a year and a half ago, a lot has progressed with Soul Saga's development. This update focuses on starting to bring in the unique hybrid combat resource system you and I talked about during the Kickstarter and also voted on in the forums.

Hybrid Resource System

At the moment, Garen is the first to be implemented, and Miera will come soon. Let's take a look at Garen as an example. Garen uses 2 resource systems:

Rage

Garen has a unique resource called rage. When he uses his "Raging Strike" skill or is attacked, he gains rage. This rage can be spent on his unique abilities that other characters can't use. His skills consist of:

  • Anger Management - Passive skill that allows Garen to gain rage when he's hit.
  • Raging Strike - Deals (Attack x1) to a single target and generates 10 rage.
  • Hail of Knives - Garen throws knives at every enemy dealing (Attack x1) to each. The cost of this skill increases by 15 rage per enemy on the field, but the first enemy has no cost. (This is a ranged skill, which will produce different results in battles later after it is implemented further.)
  • Overpower - Garen spends 50 rage to deal (Attack x1) to a single target and break their defenses. (There are no defenses to break at this point in the beta. They will be added later.)
  • Execute - Garen spends all of his rage to deal (Attack x.2 X Rage x.2). The damage increases the more Rage he has. If the enemy dies, Garen and his team are healed for (Support x1).

These are just prototype names and are subject to change. The functionality is also always subject to adjustment based on balancing.

Amber Points

When aether energy gathers and crystalizes it becomes a gem known as Amber. Amber is utilized by Alchemist's to create stones that allow even non-alchemists to utilize magical powers. Each amber contains the ability to cast one skill, and up to 4 amber can be equipped.

Unlike Garen's other skills, Amber uses AP (Amber Points). AP can only be recovered through rest in a safe location, like town. Currently there is no way to recover your AP in the beta, but it will be added later.

Skill Menu

Skill Menu
Skill Menu

There is a skill menu where you can check out all of a character's available skills, including their amber. From here you can cast healing skills to heal up allies out of combat at the expense of valuable AP.

Equip Amber in the Equipment Menu

Make sure to equip your amber in the equipment menu! If you don't equip the amber, you can't utilize their useful powers! For testing purposes in the beta, you will find 2 Healing Touch and Fireball ambers ready for use in your inventory. I recommend putting one of each on Garen and Miera.

Tooltips

Simple Tooltip
Simple Tooltip

There are now descriptive tooltips in combat and in the Skill Menu that should tell you almost everything you need to know about a skill. The default tooltips are compact in their information for easier understanding, but if you hold shift before the tooltip pops up then you can also see a more advanced tooltip with the calculations used to determine damage or resource costs. This can be useful so you understand what equipment to wear for the role you're aiming for with a character.

Advanced Tooltip
Advanced Tooltip

Awesome!  So what's next?

The "to do" list is large, but here are some things that will be implemented to the combat system in the near future:

  • A new turn based system implemented.
  • Intervene Points and functionality implemented.
  • Shenanigan skill implemented.
  • Lunchbox cooking and usage implemented.

What are all of those? Well, I'll reveal that in good time, my friend! This is just what's on the foreseeable horizon, and a lot more is to come. =)

So what do you think?

I love talking with you and am always excited to hear your valuable feedback, so please let me know what you think in the forums! You can find today's official update thread here.

Thank You!

Thank you so much for being such an amazing fan and a great friend! You've made all of this possible and I am eternally grateful for all of your kind words and support on this monumental journey. I hope you have a fantastic new year, and I know it will be a great one for Soul Saga!