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A brand new JRPG crafted in the tradition of 16 bit aesthetics with a modern day flair. It takes inspiration from SNES JRPGs with a story story and cinematic presentation, but without disregarding modern day tropes like customising the fighting styles, forging your own weapons, animated monsters in battle and more. We want to take special care in making this game stand out above the crowd. Although we're not presenting too many screenshots for now, a lot of systems are already in place, such as a bestiary, a colosseum mode with a scoring system and a leaderboard and a 90 page main game script which aims to provide around 12h of non grinding gameplay. We have a lot more planned too, so stay tuned­.

Post feature Report RSS More species, because humans are not enough

This post started as a continuation of the player characters for the game, but since I'll be delving into the species and lore for Arelite Core, I felt important to establish those first hand. Although I crafted the story to emphasize the characters, I wanted to provide a rich backdrop for those characters to evolve in. I didn't necessarily want a harsh political plotline, but rather to show that to the rulers, there is a bit more to consider than a simple “save the world” scenario.

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This post started as a continuation of the player characters for the game, but since I'll be delving into the species and lore for Arelite Core, I felt important to establish those first hand. Although I crafted the story to emphasize the characters, I wanted to provide a rich backdrop for those characters to evolve in. I didn't necessarily want a harsh political plotline, but rather to show that to the rulers, there is a bit more to consider than a simple “save the world” scenario.

One thing I wanted to ensure with the species is that they would appear as regular enemies the players will need to confront. I wanted every species to have an opportunity to display a good side as well as a bad side, which I felt would had a sense of death to them. This is just one of the many elements I took into consideration as far as how I would employ each species and ensure that the world feels cohesive rather than simply being human centric with a village here and there for other species.

Monsters

That being said, I did start by determining what I wanted to do with the humans since they were important early on. I quickly determined that I wanted two main continents, the north ruled by humans where the player would begin his journey, which would have a sense of conflict with the south led by the holarii and which incorporated more of the species. What I didn't want is to simply say “humans are good, holarii are bad”, nor the opposite. Instead, I tried to establish a world where everyone has their opinion, conflict and politics, and each is so inflexible that they really are both wrong.

Since the humans were getting an entire continent to themselves, I established a relationship between each village and the king. They end up each having a different opinion, again avoiding the simple black and whites. I invested a bit of time into creating some sense of culture within each village, a kind of purpose which would drive them in the background.

Since I wanted to integrate other species a bit gradually, the first new one encountered is a spacii, which is the most similar to humans. Since I've already spent some time exposing Lleana in the previous post, I don't want to be redundant, but suffice to say that since they are nomads and solitary by trade, they end up not having much of a culture of their own. Instead, they appear all over the world, a kind of neutral party accepted by all. They end up being a backdrop during the whole game without having a true investment as a community. Instead, I crafted some spacii characters who will be meaningful on their own.

Next come the holarii, who are the leaders of the southern continent. A species of bird people, the holarii ended up being very “high and mighty”, a bit above the needs of the non-holarii. As such, they become overseeers of the southern continent, with soldiers a bit everywhere, a lick of segregation and so forth. For the rulers, I established the council of elders, to contrast with the single king of the humans. The elders end up being very detached from the situation, a bit careless and a great opportunity for conflict.

Monsters

I wanted to have a set piece in the jungle and for the player to encounter a more tribal group. I toyed with the idea of wolf people, but felt it had already been over done and so I decided to go with tigers. The goal was to have a species which could be quick and fierce, so the felines would fit the bill perfectly. Although it was the inpetus for the group, I still decided to spread them around the southern continent in a mix between tribal and civilized, to add color to this whole new world.

Although the khane do have a big event related to them, I arguably did not end up using them to their full extent, partially because game was already very long so having them be a major element among all the others would add a lot of development time. I don't think it's a problem however, since part of my goal was to create a rich environment which extended beyond the Karden's story, and I actually did end up writing a lot of purpose for the khane which the player doesn't interact directly with, but which I can sprinkle all across to add flavor.

I like minotaurs, so I knew from the start that a minotaur like race was a must. Again however, I wanted to avoid traditional conventions and so I crafted them as a very peaceful group. Like the other animalistic species, they are spread out across the southern continent. I did end up doing a lot less with the madox than I could have, they don't end up having major plotlines tied to them as a species, but I did create a very important playable character who ended up becoming among my favorite characters. I look forward to presenting him in the next post.

To conclude, I think if I've learned anything, it's that it's difficult to integrate so many species in a meaningful manner, especially when ressources are limited. I'm definitely not disappointed to have so much variety to draw from, I think it can only improve upon the flavor of the game, but admittingly if I had to add a few hours of gameplay, I might try to add some plot devices between the khane and the madox. As it is however, I tried to make my story as streamlined as possible, which resulted in what I hope to be a 12 hour experience, so appending to it might feel patchy rather than meaningful. In the end, it's not enough to have interesting assets, you also have to integrate them properly.

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Arelite Core
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Windows
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Dragon Slumber
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