Soul Saga - Update 28 - Innovating on the class JRPG combat system
Hello, friend! How are you doing today? Is the spring weather treating you well? It's been starting to get warm here, but there's no time to play in the sun! Soul Saga's development is cruising along and I'm crunching in as many humanly feasible hours as possible to get you the best game I can this year!
Beta v9.1 Update!
The update is here! The update is heeeere!!! Yesterday I uploaded the latest Soul Saga Beta version to v9.1 for beta testers to get their hands on. This update is a huge step forward for Soul Saga as it shows off it's final draft of its unique and innovative combat system. If you're a Soul Saga Beta tester, you can find it for download in your humble bundle library now!
Steam Page Live!
Soul Saga's coming soon Steam page is now live! This is a very exciting time for me to be far enough along with my dream project, that YOU helped make, and be this close to sharing it with the world. Thank you! Please let your JRPG loving friends know so they can add it to their wishlist! =)
New Combat Initiation
Earlier we had a vote among you and other backers whether you'd like to maintain the Final Fantasy inspired combat zone system, or switch over to a more dynamic Chrono Trigger inspired system. The Chrono Trigger inspiration won by a landslide, and I got to work implementing that in for you! The results are fantastic, and you can take a look at how it feels below.
Soul Saga Combat
I'd like to talk with you a little about Soul Saga's combat system and the innovations that drive it. When I started working on Soul Saga, it was my goal to design a system that was inspired by the JRPG classics like Chrono Trigger, Breath of Fire, and Final Fantasy, identify the critical elements that make those systems fun, and innovate around those core design concepts. After identifying the elements I wanted to maintain, I dissected the common elements in JRPGs that were the most critical to address, and I quickly found the number one issue: monotonous battles.
Monotonous battles are an issue present in almost every JRPG and are even in many of the great classics. As you’re walking through those dungeons and you’re forced to fight wave after wave of weak and predictable enemies, you turn off your brain and just keep hitting the “next” button over and over again until you’ve stomped all over them and you're on to the next battle. Well not in Soul Saga!
For Soul Saga I made sure this wasn't the case, and I'm ecstatic to finally share with you the final version of Soul Saga's combat design that has successfully banished that problem.
The Beauty of Self Discovery
The beauty of Soul Saga's Combat system is in discovering exactly how the synergy works for yourself. While this system is new, it's completely understandable with a little experimentation. I'll share an overview of the system with you here, but I'm going to avoid delving deep into different uses and strategies with these mechanics so you can experience the joy of mastering them yourself!
Your actions, your choice!
The core concept behind Soul Saga's battle system is that you have FULL control over when and which of your characters act. You can even delay your actions to pause the enemy's turn.
Intervene Points (or IP) is the universal bread and butter resource your characters utilize to use their personal skills. In the current beta, you have 3 IP points maximum.
IP can be accumulated by:
- Taking actions. Every 3 actions generates a new IP point. Enemies also accumulate points this way.
- Delaying actions. All unspent IP will roll over to the next turn. Delaying will also not consume the current action buff.
Accumulated IP can be used to:
- Take multiple small actions.
- Use a single strong skill.
- Intervene the enemy turn for various strategic reasons.
Intervene is a unique concept that allows you to pause the enemy's turn to use any IP you've accumulated. You can utilize this to initiate different types of strategies for time critical situations.
Wheel of Morai
The synergy of all these systems comes together perfectly with the Wheel of Morai. The Morai Wheel is a device in the bottom right corner of the screen that foretells the buffs and debuffs that the next 5 actions will be afflicted with.
The most common effects are:
Double Attack Power
This buff will increase the actor's attack power to 200%, strengthening damage dealing skills.
Double Support Power
This buff will increase the actor's support power to 200%, strengthening healing and shielding skills.
Half Attack Power
This buff will reduce the actor's attack power to 50%, weakening damage dealing skills.
Half Support Power
This buff will reduce the actor's support power to 50%, weakening healing and shielding skills.
Synergy = Strategy
By taking advantage of the IP, delaying, and intervening systems, you can manipulate which team and actors consume which buffs and debuffs to turn the tide of any battle! The great thing about this system is that it's simple, but dynamic, so you're always thinking for every turn in every battle.
Hopes and wishes to Kumamoto, Japan
You may have heard about the recent earthquakes in southern Japan and the devastation it's wrecking on the families there. One of Soul Saga's key members, Nozomi, is from that region of Japan. She has requested time off to take care of her family during these trying times and I will be making adjustments to Soul Saga's timeline as needed. My sincere condolences go out to the people of Japan, especially Nozomi and her family. She has been a critical part of Soul Saga's successful development from the beginning and I wish nothing but the best for her.
Adjusted Release ETA
Earlier this year I had set a hopeful release date of June, but with everything happening at this point it may be rushing things a bit. To reduce the chance of delays I'd like to say that August is a safer release schedule. However, I will be trying my best to get it earlier than that for you. Thank you very much for your patience while we finish up Soul Saga for your enjoyment!
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for having given me this opportunity to create Soul Saga for you. I seriously can not wait to share it with you later this year! Please join me and other Soul Saga backers in the forums to discuss this update here:
I'm very excited to get your feedback on the final draft of Soul Saga's combat system!