From the outset, our aim for Legend of Hand was to create a graphical adventure where exploring and puzzles went hand in hand with martial arts RPG-style battling. This was probably a rather odd and ambitious choice for only our second game but I blindly pressed ahead with it without hesitation. Initially the idea was simply that the game be a graphic adventure spread across four levels where a boss would be waiting at the end whom you would have to beat in a turn-based RPG battle. This was more of a novelty factor than anything else - it wasn’t a great fit. After completing the 1st portion of the game we realised that for the game to work, the two systems would need to fit together in a much more natural way that would immerse players of either genre.
We are currently looking at revamping the fight system of the game completely. Although we have always had it that you would need to defeat certain characters in combat as part of the narrative progressing process, we are now looking at bringing in optional and randomly generated fights. This will add far greater depth to the system, with regards to powering up the main players stats and abilities. The idea is that spending time accepting sparring challenges and fights will allow the player to potentially get a better mastery of moves or grow stronger and maybe even learn entirely new moves, But in doing so, you are delaying the main quest and potentially landing yourself in worse puzzle situations should you lose. So battles must be carefully chosen. We are also going to have other ways to improve the player through purchasing items at shop stalls. The key is to keep all this within the framework of the point and click adventure side of the game - giving the player multiple ways to improve while not allowing them to get too strong for a particular part of the game.
In the final game we plan to have several different fighting styles which can be developed or neglected during the games various adventures.
Although fights are conducted in a turn-based combat manner that is separate to the exploration gameplay, I always wanted scenes in the game where you learn moves and fight opponents could slip into the framework of the main game and function more like puzzles. Island 3 is where we have put these ideas to the test.
The battling element will be the last thing we implement into the game in terms of coding, as we want all the other framework in place first. We want to make it as fun and engaging as we possibly can with the limitations we have!
Thanks for reading,
Making long, story driven games is tough. It’s time consuming and you can go for years without anything finished to show for your efforts. I think that is the main reason I recently started getting back into painting - just for fun and also to create that sense of accomplishment one gets from actually finishing a task and having something to show for it. It’s also a great break from the computer! A friend suggested I film myself painting and then speed the recording up, to show my processes and see where I went wrong or could improve. I find it a bit weird, it's like someone’s watching you once you press the red button!
I like using mostly watercolour as it’s quite an unforgiving medium and also because they are easy to get out and put away (I can't be waiting around waiting for paint to dry!). On the computer you can always correct things, but every stroke counts in watercolour and you can’t cover up mistakes - you've just got to go with it! Recently I’ve imposed time limitations on pictures to force me to not hesitate when applying colours.
I’ve posted some of them up on YouTube. Take a look if you are interested. I will pretty much paint whatever I feel like at the time, be it films, games, people or something that grabs my attention that’s going on in the world...