Monday, November 28, 2011

SEM Boss Battle Demo

It's not a full story and gameplay demo, but we finally have a small release for people to try. The demo contains tutorial explanations for the battle system and a single boss to try out which utilizes all the features of the battle system.

Sacred Earth: Memory - Boss Battle Demo <- Click.

Everything is explained within. All the systems, enemies you will be fighting, and the skills and abilities of your party members.

Have fun.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Update: New Layout & Link Arts

Holy crap, an update! I know, amazing.

Anyway, I have something tangible to show, so why not?

A new system has been implemented into the battle system. They're called Link Arts. Which is based off of a similar mechanic present in Tales of Xillia. The functionality between the two versions are different however, due to one being a Real-Time battle system, and the other being ATB turn based. What they are in basic terms are co-op skills between two characters.

Link Arts are combination skills like those used in ToX. They contain elements and properties that the character may not have access to otherwise as well as have effects from both command skills involved in the link if applicable. Link Arts are the very last skills to be used in order. After a burst/ether skill, if a Link Art can be used, a message 'Chain Chance!' will appear for about a second. Hold Decision during this time to activate the available Link Art. Multiple Link Arts can be activated if the correct combination of Command Skills are active, but the command skills needed are different for each Link Art, so you also need to take heed of your entire party combination if you want to use more than one in a chain.

Link arts require a command skill from both characters to be active. Once a Link Art is used, the command skills involved in their activation will be ended. What makes Link Arts effective is the fact that the stats of both characters involved in the Link Art with be combined before the effect occurs. All passive effects involved in the calculation will be bolstered by the combined stats of both characters.

All I can say on the decision to include them is...fear not. They are really simple to implement and don't drag me down any. It took little effort at all. Though maybe I am a little biased since I know my own code....Hm, either way!


You may also notice that the blog's design has changed, I decided to experiment a little and see if I could further customize my blog to make it more...'mine'. I think I succeeded. Maybe.

If you're curious about the art, then here. It makes for a good wallpaper actually! *totally using this as a wallpaper myself*

Art by Eredhen

Anyway, that's all from me. In other terms of progress. I've completely mapped and puzzled day 2 and 3's dungeons. I need to add puzzles to the first dungeon still, and I'm currently working on making tiles for day four's events. All I can say in regards to that is; when you're making a dungeon, PLAN THE HELL OUT OF THE PUZZLE YOU PLAN TO INCLUDE BEFOREHAND! Seriously, making a pile of maps and then going back in to add a puzzle REALLY does not work. It really doesn't. At all.

I hope to update sometime sooner than I did this one! But we'll see! Maybe we'll have a demo sometime in 2038, hah! 

Till then.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

Hello people.

I figured I'd type up a blog post since it's long? A month? Two? I don't even know, but that's besides the point.

You come here to stay updated about SEM(I hope) And so I should do that! Now then, looking in from the outside, it may seem like nothing is getting done. And I personally would be inclined to agree, buuuuuuut....

...No actually. It's not true. Work is being done indeed! What? Well lets go through it all.

I myself have mostly been mapping, editing code, and wishing I could kill myself for having taken on the weight of nearly an entire SNES/PS1 Era RPG dev team alone.

But let's go into detail.

Will you be able to reach Rank 999? Me? I couldn't tell you! I don't have an endgame to gauge things by! Haha!

On the coding end of things, I've gone back and implemented Time Card effects into several party member's skills. What does this mean? Well basically, the Time Card system is now expanded and now more than just a select few characters can take advantage of it. I worked out the theory and Time Cards should theoretically be a very useful part of your battle arsenal once you obtain the use of them. Certain enemies/bosses will also make use of Time Cards, adding a new layer of strategy to the system. We'll see just what you can do with these to turn the tide, huh?

Not very effective...

That's more like it!

Another simple, but substantial edit I've made is that the battle algorithms have been altered. How? Nothing too drastic, I've merely reordered the chain of calculations, which resulted in the number scale of overall damage being reduced by a whole digit yet again. What does this mean? Well, it means that individual hits and damage from a single party member is essentially made ineffective. What now needs to be mastered are elements, hit count, and timing. Coordinate your attacks with your team mates to rack up devastating combo damage in order to win the day.

Day Two and Three actually take place in the same dungeon, but on different ends of the forest. So it's a new experience both times, I will try to ensure that I don't end up doing this kind of thing again, though!

There is much less to speak of on the graphical end of the development spectrum. But I'm doing my best. The current dungeon, which consists of 38 maps, is about half mapped at 20 maps completed. Once I finish those, I will need to create puzzle elements and obstacles and then I can call the dungeon complete. Which brings me to another point.

My approach to dungeons is going to change after this. One of my biggest dungeon inspirations is the Golden Sun series. But I've long since come to realize that I don't have the minds that Nintendo has, therefore, I'm going to switch it up. Rather than unique and specific puzzles, obstacles are going to consist more of field tool use. Figuring out which to use where. Sometimes it will be obvious, sometimes it won't. But use of field tools is going to take center stage rather than unique puzzles. This is easier for me, the developer. This game has to move, and if this helps it move, then so be it.

The others? Well, they're busy, but I do hope they can find the motivation to continue with their designated tasks. SEM will not die. I believe in my work and I hope you all can too! Thank you for your continued support and I will continue my work in the meantime.

Have some art to leave off!

Art by Lazcht
Annnnnd Skie signing out.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Video Update

So I made a video compiling snippets of recent progress. Here you go.

Hello all, I figure I'd make a new vid since it's been a long time. So I compiled a bunch of progress and tossed it all into this one video. We have several different things going on here, so I'll explain.

First is a rather useless, but nice to look at, feature; randomized title screens. The one you see is completely random and chosen differently every time you start up. Nothing life changing but it was far too easy to implement and I think it looks nice! Haha. The title images were created by my good friend Erika. Yes, Erika, you're awesome! No escape! No denial! 8V

Next we have a battle. The battle shows off two things....okay, three things. First and most important are the function of Time Cards.

They're similar to Mana Khemia in that certain skills used will generate a time card. Time cards have different effects ranging from support attacks to healing and buffing.

In this battle, you can see an example of offensive and restorative time cards. Gunnar's Energy Storm, when extended into Exceed Limit, creates a time card that lets off three additional attacks when Gunnar takes his next few actions.

Patchoulli's Healing Echo creates a time card that when Patch takes her next few turns, the ally with the lowest LF will be healed. This has 4 charges.

Also shown are new playable character, Mir ,in battle as well as Enemy life bars, which are revealed after using Analyze on them.

And finally we have some town, menu, and scene shenanigans. Nothing much to be said here other than the fact that I redid the main menu's layout! Much more functional!

Suggestions and such are welcomed, so feel free to chime in!

And that's all from me. Over and out.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Menu updated: Member Locking

As I worked on events, I quickly discovered that a certain function would be needed within the menu; The ability to lock certain party members out of use as the story calls for it. I thought I was going to be tearing my hair out adding this function into the menus, but...turns out, it was surprisingly easy. Less than half an hour and this is what I came up with.

So now if a party member leaves for whatever reason, a lock icon will be placed over their party slot and they cannot be moved into the battle party. Obviously because they are not there to be used story-wise. However, you can still upgrade them in the customization menus. I figure it would be annoying not to allow that.

So there. That's all.

Have some random other screenshots to leave off. I'm going to be falling behind the scenes to work on events now, so don't be surprised if visuals become few and far between. Can't see everything now. I suppose I will blog about other things I'm doing in the time for now.

See ya!

Friday, May 13, 2011

We revive!

Hello people.

We've gotten work done. And by gotten work done I mean we've gotten work done.

The battle system has been entirely finished. All spells, skills, mechanics, and other minor nuances have been taken care of. It's done. DONE. DONE. DONE.

I also spent all last night rearranging the menu codes to account for Mir's rather unexpected inclusion into the game. So for now, battles are done, over with, out of the way. No more. But I won't be implementing battles yet still. I'm going to keep it in wait in case anything else needs doing, so until then, I'm going to focus on creating maps and advancing the progress on story events.

Speaking of which I have spent a fair amount of time outlining the next batch of story events. I hope my actual in game progress will move along so I can create these outlined events soon enough.  I'll do my best to get there in a timely manner!

In closing, have some art!

Have I posted this before? I forget. OH WELL-*SHOT*

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Since Skie has nothing much to say (although making progress just hush hush) we would like to present an in-depth history of the Sacred Earth series system attempts that sadly didn't go so far~

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools~

Well as of 12:29 AM, 4/2/2011, April Fools day is past. With that said, in all seriousness, I(We) are working steadfastly in order to see progress made at a good rate. Here's hoping 2011 will be the year! Wish us luck! = v = )/

Demo Release

Hello people. Today I have a gift for you all. I'm sure you've been waiting a long while for this, but. It's time to release a demo. Gameplay covers the entirety of Days One, Two, and Three. Mir is recruitable on Day Three. All systems and other nuances are explained ingame.

Please enjoy!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Here comes a new challenger!

Behold, what I have been working on in absolute secret till very recently! A new party member take the stage; Mir Clarence!

She will join the ranks of the heroes as a playable character with Air and Guardian based abilities. But don't worry about spell overlap, her air spells differ from Patch's! She is a unique character whose main shining point is to support the party's stats. She is the only character who has access to status buffing spells in that regard. With all this said, I leave off with screenshots.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Reassigning Stats + Other Stuff

Hello people, I have finally gotten back to work on this. I've quit all my side groups and other stuff in order to focus solely on this! Anyway, let's move along.

I was experimenting with all party members starting off with 100 in every stat since someone told me that it would make more sense with the fact that you can change character's stat focuses.

But I don't like it. Maybe it does make sense, but it really, really bothers me. I don't care. I have to reassign their stats. So that's what I'm going to do. I am doing this following a specific formula though.

----- Rank Breakdowns -----

A: 110-120
B: 90-100
C: 70-80
D: 50-60

----- Status Rankings -----

Each character has one A, one B, one C, and one D in each of their four stats. Spread out differently for each character to denote their differences.

--- Gunnar ---

Life: C
Power: B
Knowledge: A
Parry: D

--- Veili ---

Life: C
Power: B
Knowledge: D
Parry: A

--- Priel ---

Life: B
Power: A
Knowledge: C
Parry: D

--- Patchoulli ---

Life: C
Power: D
Knowledge: A
Parry: B

This setup will ensure that all characters are strong in one area and weak in another. Then it comes down to working around their innate builds or just sticking to powering up what they're good at. It's up to you!


I have also gotten work done in other areas as well.

Strike chains now only cost 25 EP max to use. I thought that 30 was too much. That and I like increments of 5 better than 6. I don't even know why I used 6. Let me tell you though, it was a nightmare editing them. Next time I have to make sure these battle processes are all referenced from a single place so that change is easier.

And the stat up formula has been changed for the rank up system. Now the stat you focus on will gain roughly double the amount rather than the unfocused stats. So if you focus on power when you have 76. You will gain 3 points of power on rank up. Unfocused will net you only 1. And as your stats increase, the gains also increase.

Also the system's tab has been updated. It was long overdue, but it's done now!

Annnd with that, I leave off with art! Till next time!

Art by TorriRAWR

Monday, February 14, 2011

Testing and Discoveries

Hello people.

I had some friends play the game in it's current state in order to gauge how well the game runs and is designed, as well as how well written the game is thus far.

I came away with some very interesting results, and thus, some changes were made.

This interface should be familiar. Okay, not really, but the idea should be.

Field tools will be making a return to SEM. It just has to be done. Dungeons are bare and merely strolls through the scenery without them. So as it has been suggested, Field tools should return in order to mix up exploration once more.

The tool menu is tied to the same process as the main menu, so it was relatively easy to create it. It only took about ten minutes in fact! But that's besides the point here. The menu is tied to the shift key and when pressed, this interface will slide in from above. You merely press left or right to move the highlight over the tool you want and then cancel out.

All the tools from SEB, minus the watercraft, make a return. A slashing action replaces it, and a new tool called the 'Memory Fragment' is also available. This was included based on the point that dungeons were long and save points were few and far between.

Memory Fragments are consumable saves. You open the tool menu and select it with Z/Enter. If you still have  fragments, then you will be prompted to save, and then a fragment is consumed. When you enter a dungeon area, you are given three fragments. No more, no less. Once you run out, that's it. Your Memory Fragments are replenished when you leave and enter a dungeon area again.

And on the subject of the design of the areas where you can use tools; they will not be as obvious as SEB with panels or glaringly obvious recurring cues being placed around. You will have to experiment.

And that's all for this update. Have some art!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


So I've been doing some work. Obviously. But yeah. Have some screenshots.

At the top left, Battles have received some additional interface in my effort to not hide any information from the player. This time, it's a counter to show just how many uses you have left on your command skills. This way you won't screw up and waste turns trying to reload those commands only to get an 'already active!' message. Wasting turns would be a HUGE disadvantage in this battle system and I don't want that to happen!

Timecards are an enemy system, don't worry about that right now. No enemy has utilized it just yet. The interface is just there for now. But it will be used soon! = v =

I am also working vigorously on story events as you can see in the top right! I don't want to spend my life tweaking the mechanics! Right now I'm nearing the end of the events for Day Two. I just need to complete three more events. But unfortunately those events require sprites. God I hate getting stuck in spriting limbo which forces me to stop event creation, which in turn brings the game to a grinding halt. It's infuriating really. = ^ =

At the bottom right, we have the Soul Crystal system. Nothing's different. But I did take the time to fully edit the spell descriptions to tell the player what special effects each spell has! So that should help in deciding what spells to get.

Otherwise that's it from me! I will continue working and things will fill out as we finish them!

Have some art in the meantime.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Skills: The Neverending Saga

And so, I come to update once more. What about? Skills again of course! Coming once again from DBAce09aura.

Ether spells have received a reworking. Not a total revamp, but now, all ether spells have special effects attached to them to insure that they all have a use! With these new spell effects in play alongside other character specific details, it serves to make the spells you want each character to learn even more important along with the way you level their stats and which passive abilities you have them learn.

An example of some effects implemented would be...(taken from the design document)

*Thunderbolt: "Bypasses Bolt resistance."
*Shade Imperial: "An additional skill may be used after." (FROST/FLAME/BOLT)
*Crystallize: "Reduces target EP by 10"
*Aqua Rune: "Disables Ether Skills."
*Petite Flamme: "Inflicts BURN status."
*Earth Rage: "May grant Caster PRY UP status."
*Aero Burst: "Regain 5 EP if BP is full."

...And so on and so forth.

I took the time to implement fancy little animated area openings for dungeon locations. It's all very organized, so I don't have to work hard to edit it if necessary!

Area Rank Limit determines how far you can level in an area before your EXP starts getting severely cut, forcing you to move on to stronger areas. That's also implemented just fine. I just never got around to displaying that information to the player till now. *hits self* But it's all out of the way now!

In other news, I also have cut the amount of enemy targets from 3 to 4. The coding for 4 enemies will still be there, but I will only ever use three unless some special circumstance comes up for 4. That should speed battle up a bit more.

And I leave off with art! I may be overlapping with this. I'm not sure!