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


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I'm glad you like it! I was wondering about it for months, but I've reached the conclusion that while a die is not very immersive, it helps the player by making it clear what are the rules going on behind the scenes. I think it will have a long-term benefit, since the player will get used to the presence of the icon after some time. (At least that's my hope. ; ))

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  • 3 weeks later...

Three inns, three different opportunities to hide from the creatures of the night.

The obvious differences are the room prices, HP restoration values, and the “breakfast included” service. But there’s more - sleeping in some spots involves unique encounters and conversations, and the prices and benefits change as the player befriends the owners of these places.

There are also other areas in the game where the player can find a shelter, but they usually involve a more effort before they get unlocked.

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One of the things that I really like about the game’s fantasy setting is its almost-post-apocalyptic feel. The overgrowing roads, the abandoned ruins, the secluded settlements, terrifying nights, and the scarcity of resources... Yet it’s not a result of a divine will, a random cataclysm, or of some plan orchestrated by an evil overlord. It’s just a harsh place to live in, and it shapes those who try to do so.

The roadwarden is not an almighty hero. While their journeys connect the few tamed scraps of the land, they keep fighting to survive and to achieve their goals, not to conquer the world or to change the “natural” order. There could be thousands of people like them alive, the realm would still struggle. It’s up to you to decide if you’re going to accept it.

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It took me a full month, but I’m finished with the Foggy Lake tavern, one of the last large areas in Roadwarden - well, at least when it comes to the things the PC can do here, not its “actual” size. ; ) The keeper of this place knows more about the peninsula than anyone in the North, but she rarely shares her knowledge for free.

I was missing this feeling - during the previous few months I was focused on small content chunks and little areas, and now I was able to truly explore this place and the personalities of its dwellers. I’m quite happy with all the unique interactions you’ll find here, inventing them was such a pleasure. I can see how my XP grind affects the structure of specific scenes, as well as the overall quality of writing. It’s been going great, and I’m learning so much!

This place is especially unique since some players will reach it after maybe and hour and a half of playtime (or a minute of speedrunning), encountering it as a first large shelter in the game and the introduction to the “civilized” part of the world, while for others it’s going to be a spot reached after 10+ hours, and in such a case its impact will be very different. I had to take both of these scenarios into consideration, and well, I can’t wait to show you the results. ^^

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There’s been many changes in Roadwarden’s UI, what’s also tied to the way the game is played. Here you can see the completely changed magic system, the new trading menus, and the redesigned world map. There have been many more changes, and but I’ll save the explanations for the upcoming devlog.

All this while I’m also writing new content. This autumn has been great for the game, and no wonder - it synergizes with the color palette I use. ; )

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I hesitate to share the new visuals from the game since many of them would ruin a few surprises I’ve prepared for you, but as I get better at placing pixels, I sometimes have to take a step back and update this and that. Icons, UI, illustrations.

Here are two examples. The first one is the camp from the game’s opening section - the second picture ever finished for the project. Some of the mistakes I fixed now are a bit embarrassing.

The second one used to be a generic mountain road, just a background displayed as the player rides through the highlands. Now it’s not only adapted to the new visual style of the game, it’s also an actual in-game area, a place which can be explored and interacted with.

A year ago I wouldn’t be able to just make this bridge and figure out how to add it to the picture... But here it is. I’m happy. : )

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Creeks is the youngest and the smallest settlement in the peninsula, started by a group of refugees who fled from the war only twenty five years ago. At first supported by the locals, they had to quickly find a new home. They raised their settlement among the unclaimed hills, trying to tame the forest and its infertile soil, but with little success. The inexperienced newcomers, most of which used to be townsfolk, struggled to efficiently utilize the available resources. Cramped in small huts, forced to forage and hunt to survive, they lost many souls to hunger and beasts before the end of the first decade.

Those who survived grew close to one another, and the new generation considers the entire village to be a single, large family, where everyone is obliged to support all the other members of the community. Their humble crops are not enough to keep them healthy, but they do their best to master the art of carpentry, hoping to replace their dangerous hunting trips with trade.

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Since both wood and stone are valuable building materials, the abandoned shelters usually get dismantled. The only ones which remain are either so difficult to reach that they are not worth the struggle, or are kept just in case, so that the locals have an option to quickly rebuild them once the better days arrive.

Keeping the ruins also comes with a risk - clearings lure those of the creatures which need space to build their own nests, while walls can be a solid basis for a new lair. 

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It’s been a year since the last time I visited Howler’s Dell... It now looks somewhat prettier. : )

I currently work on the ambient nature sounds for the game, and next week I’ll start writing new scenes and interactions, in the meantime updating the older illustrations... This winter is great for the game. ^^

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  • 3 weeks later...

I’m glad I took some time to return to the very beginning of Roadwarden. So many changes throughout the entire prologue section, but I still like the first paragraph.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Gale Rocks is a home to a stubborn, patient community. The settlers, unable to live off the rocky land and its fruitless forest, turned their eyes toward the sea, and to this day trade salt and fish for vegetables, iron, and clothes. Over the course of the centuries and through many sacrifices, they left the safe caverns, raised the walls, and expanded their village, bit by bit.

In sunny days, most of them form crews of boatmen and hunt for sea fish in the shallow waters, while a smaller group cuts down trees, prepares lumber, and oversees the production of barrels. When the weather gets capricious, they split the firewood and burn it under the large pans, boiling the brine until it turns into salt.

In the meantime, the wounded, elders, and children take care of the chores, cook, and prepare the latest catch to be either smoked, or salted and stored in the barrels. The hands of the villagers are scared by the years spent with knives, and by the salt getting even into the tiniest of wounds.

It’s a harsh, but slow life. Predictable, yet peaceful.

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Old vs. new!

I really struggled with this one in 2019. So many attempts at designing the road, the water (which is super hard with a brown palette!), at adapting the creative-commons tree...

I knew Nothing about drawing, and after all this time... This area in not even in the game anymore! Instead, its spiritual descendant plays a much more notable part, and in a different section of the realm. : )

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When you ignore all the marauding beasts, ruins, dark bogs, and treacherous power-hungry leaders, #Roadwarden is actually cottagecore.

(don't ignore them, though, they're cool)

I’m preparing the next version of the demo. Not only I second-draft all the oldest areas, I also introduce new systems for the player to use them to their advantage, as well as new interactions, choices, obstacles, and visuals. It’s insane how much this game grows, and I’ll share more news very soon.

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