The team revival last month proved to be a success and we've been steadily making progress for five weeks now. I'm pretty happy about the pace considering we only have about four programmers that are active at the moment. The features for the map exploration section of the game are, for the most part, now complete. By the way, you can monitor our progress in the wiki. I've started design the maps for the next release as well, which will include a lot of new artwork.
I'd like to give a general explanation behind the purpose of this next demo. First, why another demo? Why don't we get started on the real game? The answer is that we're not quite ready to take that (enormous) step just yet. We're still missing some critical features that the actual game will require, and this next (and final) demo release will be implementing most of those requirements. Releasing demos are also a great way for us as a team to gain experience and I think we've gotten better with each release we've made. So those are the technical motivations behind this next release.
We have another type of motivation for this release. We (especially myself) haven't really been fully content with our past releases. Our previous demos were merely demonstrations of the technology and didn't really resemble an RPG very much. There was no story, no sequence of events, and no puzzles or major challenges. Those are pretty important things to leave out, especially for an RPG and especially for a game like Allacrost where one of our major goals is to place a strong emphasis on producing a good story. Our past releases felt more like "experiments" than games. So our highest goal with this next release is to produce a "mini-RPG". One that has a story, character development, plot devices, and so on. Something that is actually fun and interesting to play. That's what we're going to bring to you.
Brian (our writer) has already written us a great story for this next release. It is essentially a "prequel" to the main game storyline. It follows Claudius during his days as a Karlate (a knight in training). The setting is a remote desert town where Claudius and several other Karlates live temporarily at a training camp. Claudius develops a close bond with Kyle, a fellow trainee. There exists some friction between Kyle and his superiors, which climax with a dramatic turn of events that place Claudius in an uncomfortable position. I don't want to spoil it, so I'll leave the synopsis at that.
Well that's all for now. Next time I'll discuss more of the major changes that you can expect in this next release.