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The Viridian Journal
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Baconlabs
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 5:22 pm    Post subject: The Viridian Journal Reply with quote

What is Viridia?

Continue reading to find out.


Last edited by Baconlabs on Sun May 10, 2009 6:22 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Baconlabs
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 5:24 pm    Post subject: The Story Reply with quote

This is the tale of a young boy, orphaned at an early age but full of promise, and his experiences in this world, in a barren land known to most as the Sand Zone.



The reigning government is negligent and corrupt, protecting only the wealthy warmongers who seek to colonize the remaining reaches of the sands. The indigenous tribes that have not been assimilated or destroyed plot their revenge with insidious schemes and ruthless assaults on the innocent. The paupers who can barely afford to live are robbed mercilessly by equally oppressed pirates and bandits who turned to thievery to survive.

These are just a few of the problems present in this land; the young hero has just begun to realize them, and will soon find ways to take action against them. He will call upon the aid of many trusted friends, and the defense of guardian deities also seeking to resolve the land's problems. But, in the end, can the actions of one person change the course of an entire nation? The young hero's mettle and morals will certainly put to the test to find out.
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Baconlabs
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:50 pm    Post subject: Technical Details 1 Reply with quote

As an RPG, you can expect several characters to play as, ebbing in and out with the storyline. However, Viridia boasts a grand potential of 17 playable characters, each with their own history and life, as well as unique abilities to perform both in and outside of battle.


The seventeen player characters.

Good news to novices and casual players; not all characters are required, and a number of (silhouetted) characters are extra. Furthermore, the OHR engine will only require controlling one to four at a time in battle.
But, good news to veterans and hardcore players; there are definite benefits to gathering as many characters as possible, for some offer irreplaceable benefits - for example, one of the secret characters is the only one with an easy-to-use revival ability.
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Baconlabs
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:15 pm    Post subject: Technical Details 2 Reply with quote

Environments in Viridia are actually quite varied, despite the fact that it's all in a desert setting. It's part of a plan to break away from the typical RPG tradition of visiting stereotypes of every ecosystem, and instead take one and explore the variety that can be found within. Locales include differing degrees of deserts, from shimmering, fiery dunes to smooth, airy savannas, as well as many sorts of caves, cliffs, bluffs, ruins, and mountains. The towns also vary from a traditional oasis city to a defective port town resting on jagged cliffs.


Scene from the oasis town, Alora.

From a gameplay perspective, many areas offer numerous forms of player interaction. NPCs, though comparatively few in number to most RPGs, are quite detailed and often offer side stories to follow, be it the unwary civilian who invents faulty sunglasses or the wealthy foreign ambassador who relays the events of the Sand Zone's suzerain state, Danke.
The more wild environs contain countless obstacles that can either be navigated by anyone, or can only be navigated by a specific character's skills. For example, the main hero has a running skill that allows him to skate over small gaps quickly, and one of the heroines has an agility skill which she uses to shamble over cliffs.

Finally, though this is still heavily in the planning phase, a major new gameplay factor will be introduced to the desert areas, currently dubbed the "Hydration Factor." Upon entering a large desert zone, the player can only survive so long before being considered "dehydrated," upon which the player starts to lose health rapidly, and this will certainly spell death to those who have lost their way. This cannot be avoided without paying a hefty fee for transportation between major towns, and even then, one must physically walk to other destinations.
Steps can be taken to reduce this effect. Each character is resistant to dehydration based on logical conclusions - pale-skinned foreigners and those with heavy gear will fatigue faster than others. It is important to decide who leads a team in this situation. Additionally, flasks of water and other items can be used to re-hydrate the party at any time. Finally, leaving a desert zone for a cool place - a town, a cave, an oasis - will re-hydrate the party.

All of these are important to Viridia, and will be thoroughly explained as the game progresses.


Last edited by Baconlabs on Sun Mar 22, 2009 3:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Baconlabs
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:51 pm    Post subject: Technical Details 3 Reply with quote

Battles are an important part of Viridia in ways one could normally expect. Powerful adversaries will stand in your way further down the line, and you will require the proper experience level and equipment to combat them.
Enter the enemies of Viridia; a wide array of men and monsters, beasts and birds, demons and dragons.


A sword-wielding foe.

Upon defeating each of these adversaries, rewards come in the form of money, experience, and items. It is important to note that these come in varying degrees based on what sort of adversary you just killed.
Most of your money will come from human enemies, but many other creatures will yield something that can be sold for profit - fangs, feathers, flowers, and the like. Experience is based moreover on the difficulty and numbers of the enemy. Items can be dropped by anything, and as an interesting bonus, equipment dropped by nonhuman adversaries are often naturally made, and thus, can be used by anyone.


Editing the attacks of a mounted soldier.

Battles themselves are planned to be interesting, requiring a good deal of strategy from fight to fight. One must always be aware of the types of enemies present in each area, ready to fight whatever stands in the way quickly and efficiently. In addition, one must always be aware of the characters under their control and what abilities they offer, constructing a proper squad of four. More will be revealed on this matter once battles are brought into the testing phase.

This system requires a good deal of trial and error, which is why autosave functions will be implemented in major locations. This also eases the pain of forgetful players who do not save often.


Last edited by Baconlabs on Sun Mar 22, 2009 3:18 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:06 am    Post subject: Re: Technical Details 2 Reply with quote

This looks so great! Nice map. However, I mistook Ebbaron as being the name of the part of the map drawn with dunes, which doesn't appear to be correct.

Baconlabs wrote:
Environments in Viridia are actually quite varied, despite the fact that it's all in a desert setting. It's part of a plan to break away from the typical RPG tradition of visiting stereotypes of every ecosystem, and instead take one and explore the variety that can be found within. Locales include differing degrees of deserts, from shimmering, fiery dunes to smooth, airy savannas, as well as many sorts of caves, cliffs, bluffs, ruins, and mountains. The towns also vary from a traditional oasis city to a defective port town resting on jagged cliffs.


Excellent, detailed locations are a lot to me. An endless array of houses with near identical interiors isn't enough to flesh out a city. And one interesting well-characterised NPC is worth any number of one-liners.

You know, this game, its desert setting and dehydration mechanic reminds me an awfully lot of Tightfloss Maiden Wink

Looking very much forward to the end result.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This one sounds like it'll have a richer world than Tightfloss Maiden for the simple fact that it'll have people to interact with. I definitely like the idea of having levels of dehydration and whatnot based on who's leading the party (and what they're wearing). And I love the art style here.

I'll be adding Viridia to my list of anticipated titles. I love a good desert-based game.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adding my two cents: this looks incredible. Don't do that thing where you tease us with awesome screenshots then never release the game.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, this could be quite a huge game.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 2:29 pm    Post subject: Response to the Responses Reply with quote

That name "Tightfloss Maiden" seems to be popping up a lot.
I have never played it, but will give it a shot - it should prove to be interesting and inspiring. I'll probably review it in the future.
EDIT: Played through Tightfloss Maiden; I can definitely see some similarities in the design, and I have nothing but praise for the audio and animation. But Viridia is still a completely different game.
/EDIT

This is planned to be a fairly large game in terms of content, so much so that it will take a very long time to complete. I do not, however have any intention of abandoning it, for I have done that far too often (with other programs) and I'm sick of not having a single full title under my belt.

To that effect, I'm pacing production so that everything is released in sects. The first sect, which will cover the first three chapters and perhaps a prologue, will be released to the public no sooner that June, but this is a very rough estimate.

I'll add a map-related update tomorrow, for those interested.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 3:57 pm    Post subject: Map Elements Reply with quote

Alora, the capitol of the Sand Zone, is a bustling city where several important events play out through the story, and it is indeed where the story begins. Here, several map elements can and should be explored, for they are quite prevalent in Viridia. A few examples;


Roofways are occasionally essential to navigate.

Leaping from the tops of buildings are just one example of where the main character shines. With him in the front of the party, holding a certain key enables him to run - he jumps automatically if there is a gap small enough to cross. He uses this skill in the first major scene to escape an angry mob, and again in a later scene to catch an enemy general by surprise.
Such jumping will prove to be an essential element of exploration.


The Aloran market, a very visual part of town.

I once read nearly all RPGs have but one or two shops per town, each the same as the last, but with more expensive gear. Viridia hereby breaks from that tradition by having a vast number of shops, many exclusive to particular towns, each offering common and exclusive gear. It is important to understand who sells what, and where.
For example, the main character could purchase a normal longsword in any old armory, but to find more specialized "twin swords", he will have to locate a shop that sells only twin swords (seen above on a red mat). Going even further than that, only after making the most expensive purchase will he be given directions to an even more specialized armory.

(It's very complicated on paper, but it should be easy to figure out in-game.)


The Garden could be more than eye candy.

One of the later characters has the benefit of increasing any of his stats at will, provided he has the right herb to consume. Vegetation is scarce in Viridia, so gardens such as this become his only resource to harvest certain types of herbs. For players that do not use him, the gardens are just for show.
I'm considering expanding this feature so that the aforementioned character can brew herbal solutions for the rest of the party to use as items.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
That name "Tightfloss Maiden" seems to be popping up a lot.


I just released it after holding it ransom for close to eight years. It popped up a lot back in 2001, too. But yeah, that's why it's getting so much buzz at the moment. I suspect that buzz is already half-dead and should be flatlined by the end of the month.

Quote:
EDIT: Played through Tightfloss Maiden; I can definitely see some similarities in the design, and I have nothing but praise for the audio and animation. But Viridia is still a completely different game.
/EDIT


Thank you. The soundtrack is primarily courtesy an old community member by the name of Specplosive, who hasn't actually been around here since 2003, but fortunately had given me some great tracks before going into hiding. Hopefully he'll show up again in the next couple years to finish the rest of the game (though, I'm weighing my options in the likely event that he won't). The sound effects were all implemented in a single day and comprised of stuff I downloaded for my other game.

With the little teaser you've given us so far, I can definitely see some differences. I have a feeling Viridia will be a grand epic like Lawrence of Arabia whereas Tightfloss Maiden is a self-contained slow descent into film noir like Casablanca. And Viridia will no doubt display a wide array of characters whereas Tightfloss Maiden focuses on one. I think our main similarity, besides the obvious desert-based locale, is that both are focused on outside battle game mechanics (which your jumping from rooftops mechanic suggests and my accessory usage shows). And that's a similarity that any game attempting to push the limits can accomplish, desert-based or not. Realistically, we could see a "dehydration" effect occur in a city where smog is like poison and it would still be a different game (and just as fun).

Quote:
This is planned to be a fairly large game in terms of content, so much so that it will take a very long time to complete. I do not, however have any intention of abandoning it, for I have done that far too often (with other programs) and I'm sick of not having a single full title under my belt.


Good. Please don't abandon it. Provided the story is awesome, this looks like it'll be an incredible entry--maybe even Game of the Year if you play your cards right. Might be the one of the few things on the publicized horizon to give the Vikings of Midgard a run for its money (though, I am speculating something fierce, as screenshots don't tell the whole story--I just hope it's a good speculation).

Quote:
To that effect, I'm pacing production so that everything is released in sects. The first sect, which will cover the first three chapters and perhaps a prologue, will be released to the public no sooner that June, but this is a very rough estimate.


If it's a rough estimate, then does that mean it may come out before June, or did you mean to say no later than June?

Either way, I say don't rush. Submit a great product the first time out. If it's as good as I think it'll be, we'll be happy to see any update whenever it's released. I'd also suggest holding it until you know you've got us by the throat and make sure you give us a juicy cliffhanger. That's what Surlaw did with the original Walthros and I must say the wait after the first demo was painful. Make that first release hurt.

In regard to your second posting (with the shops and the jumping and whatnot), I think that marketplace is a marvel. Not just the art design, but the whole mechanic of it--reminds me of the one thing I liked about Secret of Evermore. To see what you're pulling off with just 160 tiles per layer makes me hope for a tile increase in the near future. I'd love to see a sprawling marketplace with each stall more diverse than the last (though, this can still be accomplished with tileset swaps, just the idea of having a more intense art experience makes everything seem even better).

Also, I think you should strongly consider submitting a full preview to HamsterSpeak once you get a couple towns and a certain number of your game mechanics implemented. This looks like the kind of game that'll generate an awesome preview article and I know Surlaw would appreciate it.

Overall, this is climbing to the top of my anticipated list along with the full versions of Vikings of Midgard, Warigo, Halloween Quest 3, Darkmoor Beckons, Surlaw Armageddon and Maze Madness.

Keep us posted on progress (without giving away too much or spoiling any future HamsterSpeak preview).
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Baconlabs
PURPLE IS MANLY




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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:07 pm    Post subject: A Splitting Story Reply with quote

[Note: I was originally going to reveal the main protagonist, but the artist I'm using for the 50x50 portraits is behind schedule, so onto something completely different for now.]

One element of Viridia is the concept of a "splitting" storyline. Even in the first sect of the game, this is evident as the focus of the story shifts between several different spots on the map, and each of the first few chapters hosts completely different characters.

Let's use a visual:


Availability Chart

On the X axis is the chapter number, from the Prologue to Chapter 12. The "first sect" of the public release, currently in progress, covers the prologue and first three chapters.
The Y axis is, obviously, the individual character listing.
COLOR CODING:
WHITE: Unavailable
RED: Locked into Roster
BLUE: Available, not Locked
GREEN: Recruitable
BLACK: Not Recruitable

Another important piece of this splitting storyline is the presence of "Free Chapters," which give the player absolute freedom to wander until a certain event is completed. This is where almost all of Viridia's sidequests will be held, which range from mundane mercenary work to entire sub-plots that all eventually connect to the big picture.

That's where the splitting story metaphor comes to a halt, because all of the ideas and mysteries presented with everything that happens in-game are to be explained by the very end of the game, which only the more experienced players will get the opportunity to see.
This also offers an extended lifetime for the game itself, lending it definite replayability, which seems to be rare in an OHR game.



Next week I'll hopefully get to introduce some important characters with a flourish, if I can get that starving artist on her feet again.


Last edited by Baconlabs on Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:54 pm    Post subject: Saturday Quickie: About Weapons Reply with quote

I'll do a quick one while it's on my mind.

Almost every character in Viridia is able to wield many different types of weapons, and though several specialize in a particular weapon type, it's possible (and occasionally recommended) to play around with the possibilities.
For example, the main character specializes in Swords, but is also able to wield Knives and Bows; switching to Bows will allow him to play defensively, which is useful if he's under-leveled.

Here, I have a Weapons chart, depicting each weapon type alongside their Power, Hit, Weight, and Critical ratings, as well as their Damage type and Critical Effect (see below). Most of the weapon icons are self-explanatory.


The Weapon Chart

Note: Three weapon types have extra effects that aren't listed here.
The Twin Swords (second item) always grant two attacks.
The Bows (eighth item) always boost the user's defensive stats, since the user attacks from a distance. They also consume Arrows.
The Staves (ninth item) always boost the user's magical stats.

Now then, allow me to elaborate on my favorite feature - Critical Effects.
Each weapon is further distinguished from each other by their Critical Effect, which is essentially a Critical hit with some new features.
Damage multipliers are obvious, so onto the specific effects.
-Pierce: Ignores enemy's Defense.
-Def.Cut: Reduces the enemy's Defense or Wisdom stat.
-Rend: Causes bleeding, causing light damage over time. (May not work on certain enemy types)
-Aim Boost: Obviously, increases the user's Accuracy.
-Magic Boost: Restores some Technique points, increases user's Magic and Wisdom.

Many "special" weapons in the game will be unique because of their Critical Effect, some of which occur 100% of the time. These will almost never be sold in stores (and if so, they'll cost a pretty penny), so exploration will certainly pay off if the player can manage to find these amazing weapons.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks really interesting.

I'm curious how two swords is Sharp and one sword is Normal, though.
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