We'll be updating our blog -- afloatgames.blogspot.com -- with developments, setting details and art. (Be patient -- there's only two of us. Updates, particularly of art assets, will come slowly!)
Afloat takes place in a world with a hundred hundred names -- humanity has spread and splintered into myriad cultures, each with its own language and ideas. However, there is one uniting thread -- an otherworldly race called the Alkyones. After years of living side-by-side with humans, the Alkyones' monolithic language has become lingua franca for all manner of scholarly and philosophical pursuits.
The Alkyone name for this world is known far and wide -- Empsukhros.
In the dark ages, humanity, Alkyones and spirits -- creatures born from Empsukhros' fertile wild places -- waged bitter wars, but brave heroes and stalwart leaders forged a new peace a century ago. Now, trade and exploration are more important than conquest and warfare. In this brave age of discovery, a youthful man, Daniyel, wanders wherever he pleases.
Daniyel has returned to a lonely corner of his homeland, Hebron, after years abroad. Things have changed: The once-busy trading center of Joppa has become still and empty; its entopiodaimones -- rare spirits who live among humans, rather than prey upon them -- have become restless and angry. In the trading village of Kiriath, an Alkyone named Cressida recognizes Daniyel, and begs him for help. She and a strange, hooded Hebronese man named Shimshon sought access to Joppa's ports, but were turned back. Daniyel, sensing that the pair's plight is part of some greater need, agrees to help them.
Of course, Daniyel, Cressida and Shimshon aren't quite what they seem. And, as Daniyel suspects, something greater than himself, his new compatriots or even the land's ancient spirits has sent disruptions across this corner of the world. As the mysteries of the Enyoris Peninsula are unraveled, the secrets of our protagonists will be lain bare -- and what seemed a network of coincidence will be revealed as the confluence of fate.
The site of a well that tapped into trouble:
The trade village of Kiriath:
The top of Anemoi, the Storm Spirit's tower:
Simplified RPG structure. We want the play experience of "Afloat: Restless Spirits" to be as seamless as possible. Gameplay and story, not menus and text boxes, will be the game's core. We're featuring an intelligent auto-save function, so players will never have to worry about recording their games. We've nixed most menus, making the interface direct and simple. We've removed random encounters -- we want every battle to be a meaningful part of the game, something that requires clever execution and forethought. We've made switching out abilities easy, intuitive and free -- we want players to fight battles because they want to, not because they need some arbitrary amount of experience or gold to unlock a new skill or piece of gear. After all, if you wanted to run a treadmill, you'd go to the gym -- not load up an RPG.
Simple commands, complex battles. Using the familiar, easy-to-understand RPG battle interface, we've created an engine that rewards players for experimenting and seeking out powerful synergies. We want players to find strategies and combinations that make their party more than the sum of its parts -- after all, where's the fun or depth in just mashing "attack" to clear meaningless fights? Our mix-and-match suite of abilities means that there's no one way to finish battles -- the same ability that provides the groundwork for Shimshon's powerful, but narrow, suite of attack options can be used to minimize damage as Cressida pounds away with her more reliable spells. Find what works for you and ride it to victory!
A living world. The Enyoris Peninsula may be small and out of the way, but it's no dead plot of land. As Daniyel and his companions solve mysteries and help people, they'll run into dozens of characters and factions, each with a different agenda. The player can seek a balanced peace between the land's power brokers -- or can pick a side and seek conquest. Either way, you control the peninsula's destiny. If that's not your cup of tea, then hire some merchants and begin building a trade empire -- or stay local and build up an inn of your own.
Because it's our first game, we're not looking to shoot the moon with "Restless Souls." We are looking to produce an easy-to-play, easy-to-use title. We're aiming for a 5-10 hour gameplay experience, including sidequests and cutscenes. We're aiming for an intuitive battle system that provides enough strategic depth to be entertaining, but not overwhelming. And finally -- but most imporantly -- we want people to play our game and enjoy themselves.
Edited by Mewens, 10 June 2012 - 07:36 PM.