Good news, everyone! I will be showcasing FLAMBERGE at MAGFest (National Harbor, MD) in January!
Fall 2018 Update (With patches spanning into October)
Sorry for posting this late to IndieDB. Here are the notes for the latest update to the game.
This update contains a new, smaller chapter, but is mainly a giant overhaul to the UI and presentation of the game. Future updates will contain much more content than this one; we recommend playing the game from the beginning to experience all of the cool new stuff.
- One new chapter of mainly story-focused content.
- Minor changes to chapter one.
- Totem powers, new abilities that can be unlocked after finishing chapter one. There are 7 available in the current version.
- These are unlocked by spending skill points, which are earned after each battle.
- Entirely new title menu.
- New cinematic intro when starting a new game.
- New settings menu allows toggling of various features, setting of resolution and audio levels.
- Yes, this means the Unity dialogue on startup is goooone.
- Entirely new battle UI.
- More visible ability details, including damage and cooldowns.
- Better sound feedback on everything.
- Refurbished party menu.
- Everything should feel a bit more satisfying.
- New tip system
- More direct than the previous tutorial window. This system will be used to introduce players to any new mechanics that need explanation.
- New controls in peaceful areas
- Pathfinding was creating problems, so peaceful areas just use directional movement now.
- Partial joystick support!
- You can play 90% of the game with a joystick now, aside from any typing.
- So far, I’ve only tested this with an Xbox 360 controller. Other controllers may not work.
- Units now ‘bleed’ points from their total health if they aren’t healed quickly.
- This is to make the medic/healing items more desirable on the frontline.
- Scoring after each battle. Players will be scored based on three things:
- Red Score: % of enemies defeated, and how quickly
- Gold Score: Health of the party, avoidance of damage
- Blue Score: Stealth (based on how many turns your team remained spotted)
- Blue scoring is much, much kinder on levels where stealth isn’t an option (e.g. bosses)
- These scores will earn red/gold/blue skill points, which can be spent on totem powers.
- Slightly reworked promotion abilities.
- Various balances to early abilities. Some examples:
- Archer ‘shoot’ can no longer use auto firing mode.
- Swordsman ‘lunge’ can now pierce multiple enemies (in a small line).
Feedback MenuA feedback menu is available from the system menu (ESC). It can be opened pretty much anywhere in the game. I’d like to get people’s thoughts in the moment of using a feature/playing a level. Does the new totem menu feel unwieldy? Was a level fun, but you know just the thing that would improve it? Let me know! You can send a message directly from the menu, without ever tabbing out of the game.
- Feedback I’m looking for:
- Bug reports (as always!)
- Usability of the new UI
- Balancing/usability of the new totem powers
- Fairness of the battle scoring
- Overall improvements that could be made to battles
AnalyticsStarting now, I’m focusing very hard on making sure the battle progression in Flamberge makes sense and has a proper difficulty curve. As I start making content for chapter four, I’d like to keep revisiting and reworking the battles for chapters one through three.
In order to help improve these earlier levels, Flamberge will send me small amounts of battle performance data. This can be turned off in the new settings menu. This data will contain no identifying information. What I receive on my end looks kinda like this:
“Victory: Nochwood – Red Score: 80, Gold Score: 50, Blue Score: 77 – Hommel Death (217,48) (Turn 6) – Vulnerary Used (400, 250) (Turn 7) – Party: Logan, Hommel, Arberine”
“Defeat: Hilt – Hommel Death (155, 55) (Turn 3) – Logan Death (188, 33) (Turn 3) – Arberine Death (222,15) (Turn 4)”
Features I’m working on:In the interest of time, I opted not to add some of these features to the current build. They’re well within the works, so expect them soon.
- Visions. These will be optional side quests involving other characters who are not in your party.
- Regular side-quests are still being planned.
- The vision menu will also allow players to replay battles (this feature will take a lot longer to set up, though).
- Player-influenced stat progression. Every 5 level-ups or so, I’d like to give players the choice of which stat point to give to their party member.
- First, though, I need to make sure that each stat is balanced (VIT, STR, DEF, SPD, RNG). Right now, DEF (defense) is way better than all the rest. I’ll be changing this soon.
- Visible ability formulae.
- When stats change, they change various things in each ability. Some abilities even change based on defense/vitality! I want to make this information visible. Not sure how- maybe a guidebook of some sort where I can put a lot of extra words.
- Fixing up the challenge editor
- I had planned on making changes to the challenge editor for this build, but it’s still a bit old and clanky. I’ll be touching it up soon.
- Difficulty modes
Long-haul content/features I’ve started working on:
- Chapter four. This chapter will be a long arduous journey up into the mountains. I’m still brainstorming what kinds of mechanics will be introduced there, but it’ll probably get pretty interesting.
- Side-content intermittent throughout the current chapters.
- Heavy improvement to current stages/levels.
- Difficulty balancing
- More interesting variation/mechanics (instead of just easy enemies -> harder enemies)
- Support score/conversations
- As allies cooperate closely, I want to start fleshing out their personalities one-on-one. This will involve skits between one-on-one pairs, as well as a ‘support/coordination’ score of some sort, which if earned, may improve their abilities when used closely with each other.
- This will involve writing hundreds of conversations. I’ll put some in the game once I have a good first batch.