We are a small tight-knit team of indie developers and we would like to introduce ourselves. Our company’s name is Savatronix and we are working on building our first game. Most of us have backgrounds in software development or art or work in technology, but we are all passionate about video games! One of the most important things to us when we agreed to partner together and take on the project is really make an effort in engaging with everyone interested in our game.
It’s super important to us that we get feedback from fans of the game while we develop it. As we get closer to funding the project (did I mention we are currently self-funded?) It will be easier for us to make commitments on a delivery date of Lost Haven. For now, we are focused making the best game we can and we don’t want to release until we are fully satisfied.
Lost Haven, at its core, is an RPG. There are many facets of gameplay and every choice you make and how you build your character affects all of them. Our ultimate goal is for the game to feel alive, with a changing world and realistic characters. We want to provide excellent replay value and opportunities for discovery.
Let's start by talking about one of the main parts of the game: farming. You'll start with a farmhouse and an area where you can plant crops, and from there you decide how you want to proceed. You may focus on growing crops, raising animals, or some combination of the two. Or, you might choose to focus more heavily on gathering and obtaining resources through harvesting, combat and exploration.
Whatever you decide, the resources that you obtain and sell or donate to your town will affect it in different ways. If you don’t sell or donate crops and materials, then town will not be able to meet its demands for those goods, and townsfolk will become unhappy. It will also be more difficult to recruit some people to come live in your town, because who wants to live in a town with no resources? On the other hand, a town with plentiful resources will be appealing to potential citizens.
There’s also the economy to watch out for. Having too little of something will make prices go up, but this needs to be balanced against the need for that resource. Having too much of something will cause the price to drop, and you'll need that money to build up your farm and make improvements to the town.
That brings us to our next part of Lost Haven: the town itself. As one of the first and most capable inhabitants of Lost Haven, you become the de facto mayor. You're in charge of constructing new homes and other structures and convincing people to move in.
The layout of the town will be very important. For example, if the lumberjack's workshop is on the opposite side of town from the forest, it will take him longer to harvest and process wood. If the person running the general store lives very far from the shop, they might be late opening the doors.
The characters will also have personal preferences, and putting their house in a location they like will make them happier, making it easier to build relationships with them and having a positive effect on the town's morale. Getting the characters to like you can open up new pieces of the story or have other side effects like getting discounts at their shop.
We're working on an expansive relationship system for Lost Haven, working with factions while also keeping in mind the character's specific preferences (which may not align with their faction).
Every character has a fully-fledged personality and they will approve, disapprove, or just not care about the things you do as you play. You should not only be mindful of your actions when characters are nearby, but be aware of gossip.
One character might see you littering, or being rude to someone, and mention it to their family when they go home that night or to a friend that they pass in the town square. Likewise, news of your accomplishments will also spread. Characters' perception of you may change without you interacting with them directly.
Relationships also come into play if you decide to romance the eligible people in town. We're still fleshing out the specifics of romantic relationships in Lost Haven, but we want to make it fun and interactive, rather than just a repetitive onslaught of burying your intended in gifts.
Our last main facet of gameplay in Lost Haven is combat. We are designing the combat to be very fast-paced with responsive movement and quick, combo-based attacks.
Building up a town from scratch in a monster-infested wilderness is tough work, but as you clear out sections of land and destroy any lairs you come across, you can claim land as your own.
You can also take your offensive to the next level and explore deep in caves and other territory solidly held by beasts and demons. The farther you go from civilization, the more ferocious and beastly your opponents will get. They also have more valuable prizes, if you can take them down.
As your town grows and becomes more of a threat, you may be targeted by your enemies with a raid. In a raid, the Yokai will lead an attack against your walls and all able-bodied citizens of Lost Haven will join the defense. These raids will put your town defenses to the test and you can either lead your town to victory or suffer the losses of being ill-prepared.
This is just an overview of what Lost Haven will be. We will be writing more articles like this one going into detail about each feature.
Our Dev Blog will have updates on our development periodically.
We also regularly post about Savatronix, Lost Haven, and general game dev in bite-size chunks on our Twitter @savatronixllc.