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Aureus

Roadwarden [Fantasy/RPG Elements/Pixel Art] [DEMO]

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Roadwarden is an interactive fiction 
in which you explore and change a hostile, grim realm.

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Everyone knows to stay away from the wilderness. Most people would never risk a lonely journey.

Roadwardens not only accept this struggle, they embrace it. They deliver messages, assist merchants, burn human corpses and, if possible, get rid of beasts and highwaymen.

They live on the road, die young or retire early.

It’s a dangerous job, but a respectable one. And it pays well.

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Main Features:

  • Explore and change the world. Travel through a detailed fantasy setting filled with secrets, challenges and uniquely harsh lore.
  • Have immersive conversations. To gain support of dozens of NPCs, you need to earn their trust during complex dialogues and sidequests.
  • Create your own character through role-playing and decisions. Shape your background, abilities, beliefs and personality.
  • Unveil the local mysteries. Investigate, use your wit and make connections to understand the true nature of this realm.
  • Overcome your weaknesses. The wilderness is full of dangers and you can trust nobody. Find your path to success against all odds.

You can find more information as well as the free demo on the game's website!

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So, what do you think? Have you got any idea how can we call this game's genre? : P

Edited by Aureus

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As it looks from the screenshots and your description, I'd say it's 50% a choose your own adventure game and 50% an RPG or simulation? Reminds of The Oregon Trail actually. I don't think there's even a proper name for these, but I'm definitely digging it. :]

Do you plan to include some forms of world randomisation and RNG, similar to something like FLT or Sunless Sea, or you're rather going for a hand-crafted world player should learn and optimize their path through? Are you planning for any interactions with the NPCs beyond side quests and flavour text (like forming parties, romance)?

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I'm glad it looks interesting to you! : D

I'll avoid RNG world generation and focus on making a single playthrough (even though it'll involve many decisions and branching) as fun as I can. I generally think that refreshing the game through world randomization is something that should be left for the games that are focused on gameplay or player's own imagination which fills the canvas by itself, and I'm more interested in storytelling and worldbuilding. I myself usually play various games only once, and I think it's OK to have games that are not meant to be played for 80+ hours. : P

I won't dive into romance. Rather friendships, since they interest me much more... And taking sides. Manipulation. Calculating your approach to various NPCs and role-playing through these decisions. I want to think about dialogues as a part of the core fun, not just a plot delivery tool. Having dialogues lasting for 5, 10, 15 minutes are something to expect. : )

I had in mind forming parties, but right now I think I should not add it as a minor feature, but rather make it a core of another game.

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I love it when a game slowly moves from place holders to the actual graphics. Here you can see the first part of the game’s map - the large “objects” are icons allowing you to select the area you want to visit. Heavily inspired by Baldur’s Gate. ; )

If you think it can still look better, I’ll be happy to see your feedback!

MAPKA_OLD_VS_NEW.png

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Hello, hello!

It was a busy week and I think I should start writing devlogs about the game’s development, highlighting new features and the general progress. I’d like to share the first post like this starting next week. : )

The coolest part of this week, however, was working on the new picture for the game. Do you remember my castle-tavern? I wanted to draw its interiors. The first attempt, which displays the exteriors as well, was a failure. It doesn’t allow to show that many details and limits the scope of furniture while also ruining the proportions, even if I’d add buttons allowing to hide and show specific floors.

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But the new one feels great to me. For me, it feels cozy. It feels like I can’t help but imagine all the stories that started (or ended) here.

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What do you think? Do you like it?

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A new feature added - having an option to end the game! : P

Since Roadwarden is going to have a very unusual story structure and is, in some way, an open world game, I expect that not everyone is going to complete it in 100%. So, you’re going to be able to finish the game whenever you want - even in the middle of the tutorial. And if you want, you can always read a summary of your journey (which will get more and more detailed as your playthrough goes on) to let you know how much of a “good” ending you’ve earned up to this point

And yes - these endings are going to be heavily personalized. The one you see in the video, for example, belongs to a PC whose main goal is the wish to help people. Other characters have a bit different endings.

The entire “ending” section is still in an early WIP. It’s going to have additional graphics and maybe even an interface looking more like the game’s prologue, but for now it’s fine as it is. : )

--------------------------
By the way... Have you seen the game’s first devlog?

--------------------------

I was planning to focus on writing the new scenes for Roadwarden, but I decided to change my approach. Since the demo of the game received quite a bit of attention and a lot of helpful feedback (which includes one game-crashing bug), here are the plans for the nearby future:

Monday, May 25th - new devlog focused on the “genre” of the game (why is it an RPG / Visual Novel / text adventure hybrid : P).

Friday, May 31st - the new demo of the game (with few fixes and some additional features).

Saturday, June 1st - a video presenting the entire “tutorial” section of the game. For those who’d like to just see a couple of bits without sinking into the entire thing.

Monday, June 3rd - a regular devlog explaining the new features from the demo and some other changes.

After that point, the demo will no longer be updated unless a game-breaking bug will be spotted.

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The new version of the demo is now available, and not only it has multiple minor and major fixes, but also some bits of additional content.

Unless a large bug will be found, I currently assume that the version 0.3 won’t updated in the nearby future. And it should be able to fairly portray the gist of what I want Roadwarden to be.

If you haven’t played the demo before, this is the version that I would recommend. However, if you’ve already play it through, you may be interested in checking out the following changelog. A deeper look will be available on Monday, in the new devlog.

 

The Mac version is now available.

Though it’s not tested very well. If you find any issues, please let me know.

The achievements don’t kill you anymore.

I’m surprised (and relieved) that only one person have encountered this problem. From now on, clicking on the received achievement won’t crash the game.

You can switch the font to a pixel one.

Whenever you want, you can switch between a pixel-artish font (which looks nice) and the regular font (which is easier to read). The regular font is still used by default.

Now you can actually beat the game! (and unlock the worst endings)

A new icon on the map allows you to complete the game, even in the very first morning. The “ending” section doesn’t have illustrations yet, but is altered by the goal that you’ve chosen for your character.

Added new travel descriptions.

If you’re in the Southern Crossroads and move either to the dolmen or the tavern for the first time, you’ll see examples of the new travel descriptions. This tool will also make random encounters much easier to implement.

Added a couple of options to the dolmen.

Parsers in the dolmen respond now to more commands. Also, a small bug involving the secret was fixed.

Rolling back works better with various menus (like map and sleeping).

Using a mouse or keyboard to “roll back” when a map or other complex menu are displayed sometimes created issues. From now on, it will only close the displayed menus, without instantly jumping back.

Pointing at your HP is now more elegant.

It won’t cover the main narration and is generally more responsive.

Fixed some typos and rephrased a couple of things.

Among the major changes - the inventory descriptions are now significantly more polished and the “choices” are more consistent.

 

And here is the latest devlog, portraying the problems with labeling the game through traditional genres.

 

jtGR8vB.gif 

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Whenever you encounter new NPCs in Roadwarden, you can select one of the 5 attitudes to impact the first impression you're going to make. Attitudes affect the tone of the conversation, what the NPCs think about you and what dialogue choices will be available to you in the future.

A group of bandits surrounds you. Some of them hold swords, others have loaded crossbows. Do you try to ease the tension by being friendly? Do you try to intimidate them? Do you act vulnerably, hoping they spare you?

Do you like what attitudes can you currently choose from? Do you think there should be any more?

 

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My “break” is over! I’m back into the full-dev mode and it feels great. <3

I’m working on the dialogues for the first tavern. There’s a lot of things to talk about and to do here, and guess what. You don’t even Have to come here, and if you’re aggressive toward the innkeeper, you’ll just get thrown out. Choose your Attitudes wisely!

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bug.gif

 

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