We are now entering the later stages of development and are finally piecing together the part of Legend of Hand I have been most looking forward to experimenting with- that of the fight system and its upgrades. Entwined with that is our item shopping system.
Turned based fights in LOH are quick and explosive. Don’t expect long, drawn-out grinding bouts.
When on short holidays abroad, I would often find myself drawn into bartering sessions with stall owners, who were keen to to sell me tourist-tailored cack. Exuberant sellers would passionately inform me how their items were rare, precious and unique to the lands culture. I’d find this process both infuriating and intriguing. The passion with which a seller would try to convince me that something I knew I didn’t need would change my life was an experience in itself, regardless of the items real worth. Sometimes I would just cave in, happily paying way over the odds just to end their incessant ramblings. I wanted an element of this to carry through to LOH’s item purchasing system. Unlike a lot of games, item values in LOH are not listed- gaining valuable items amongst junk is based on how you interpret a loose description. Do you trust the shop keeper? Will you find it cheaper elsewhere, or perhaps the item in question is a fake?
In LOH many of the players moves can be upgraded by fighting and sparring matches. Shop items also offer these benefits, as well as potential HP boosts and even new hidden moves on occasion. However these exact benefits are never specified, you only have the shopkeeper's word to go by and just like real life you run the risk of buying dud items or paying way over the odds for something. This adds a level of intrigue to shopping and the tone and opinions of shopkeepers (they comment on each other) need to be taken into account. On top of this some items have randomised benefits, so shopping really is something of a lottery. However, get it right and you see huge leaps in your skill set.
To shop items you need coinage. Money can be earned in several ways, either as ad hoc reward for favours, gambling or even taking a quick job as a fisherman. We have tried to design the game in such a way, that there is often a way in which to upgrade your skills, although it might mean taking some time out from your quest.
By my next update, the game should be in its very final stages of development. It’s been three years fitting the project in around our jobs but the finish line is finally coming into sight!