OKAY FIRST LET ME STATE I HAVE LITERALLY NOT MADE ONE OF THESE THREADS SINCE GAMINGW MOST OF YOU PROBABLY DO NOT EVEN REMEMBER GAMINGW BUT IT WAS LAST RELEVANT TO THE RM SCENE LIKE 14-15 YEARS AGO IN THE INTERVENING DECADE AND A HALF I HAVE COMPLETELY ADAPTED TO RMN'S "GAME PAGE" MODEL SO I APOLOGIZE IF THIS IS A TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE GAME THREAD I HAVE JUST NOT DONE ONE OF THESE IN FIFTEEN YEARS. I ALSO APOLOGIZE FOR CAPSLOCK. NOW...3...2...1 Let's Jam! Oh, yeah...the first episode of this game is completely ready for you to download here. I imagine that lots of the time people don't have a download link RIGHT when they make a thread in games-in-development, but this time I do! Overview It is Earth, the not too distant future. You are Master Sergeant Devlyn Ryder, a highly decorated Green Beret who was "lent" to JSOC (the Joint Special Operations Command) so he had more latitude to participate in Black-Ops: in other words, you have made a career of doing the dirtiest of the United States' dirty work. A call comes in from a former CIA colleague that you knew from the Iraq wars, Director Simmons (he never told anyone his first name), now in charge of the CIA's Africa Desk. Something has been found in Johannesburg, South Africa. That something turns out to be a staircase that just appeared overnight in the basement of a bar in the Alexandria slums. The staircase, which leads down, is not shown anywhere in the city's building plans. It's like the building just grew it. Nothing that goes down comes back up. Simmons acted quickly to seize control of the site under some acceptable paramilitary pretext to keep the UN and the South African government from interfering with what might be an important find for DARPA and other US Military research affiliates. Dr. Naomi Watanabe of the university of Tokyo, a brilliant experimental quantum physicist, was brought in to investigate the Staircase. She was forced to conclude that in this particular circumstance, the simplest explanation via Occam's Razor really was that the staircase was a portal to another dimension. Specially, it leads down into the top floor of a deadly, monster-filled tower that has claimed the lives of dozens and dozens of US soldiers. Rather than escalate things by sending more regular troops to a potential slaughter, Simmons has chosen to lead a small team consisting of Ryder, himself, Dr. Watanabe, and Army Airborne combat medic Corporal Mary O'Hara (whose primary concern is making sure everyone who goes down comes back up alive) down the Staircase, and into the unknown... You Guys Are Visual People, So Here's 10 Screenshots That I Thought Were At Least Okay Looking Most of these show a font that many people had readability issues with. The last one shows what that font has been changed to. Characters I like games that have characters. Don't you!? Master Sergeant Devlyn Ryder Class: SpecOps Age: 37 Height: 5'11" Weight: 199 lbs. Likes: Risking his life, stand-up fights, the camaraderie of fellow soldiers. Dislikes: Being manipulated and lied to by the top brass, the way people Downstairs look. Proficiencies, Modern: Handgun, Assault Rifle, SMG, Shotgun, Heavy Proficiencies, Downstairs: Dagger, Sword, Bow Signature Skills: Focused Autofire, Grenade Launcher, Soldier On CIA Assistant Director Simmons (No First Name Given) Class: Agent Age: 57 Height: 5'10" Weight: 166 lbs. Likes: Being able to pursue his various agendas in secrecy; power. Dislikes: When subordinates are insubordinate, the way people Downstairs look. Proficiencies, Modern: Handgun, SMG Proficiencies, Downstairs: Dagger, Sorcery (not available in this Episode) Signature Skills: Lift, Aim: Vitals, Mozambique Drill Corporal Mary O'Hara, 101st Army Airborne Division Class: Medic Age: 28 Height: 5'5" Weight: 118 lbs. Likes: Rom-Coms, Action Movies, Movies in General, Guns Dislikes: Mimics, People Who Don't Like Guns, Leaving A Man Behind, the way people Downstairs look. Proficiencies, Modern: Handgun, SMG Proficiencies, Downstairs: Dagger Signature Skills: Triage, First Aid, Lifesaver Professor Naomi Watanabe, University of Tokyo Class: Scientist Age: 33 Height: 5'4" Weight: 127 lbs. Likes: Science!, Dungeons & Dragons, scientific integrity, examining things until she has them completely figured out, the way people Downstairs look. Dislikes: Guns, when people don't get her Dungeons & Dragons references, not being allowed ample time to examine things until she has them completely figured out, being bombarded with questions she obviously lacks the data to answer. Proficiencies, Modern: Handgun (but ew) Proficiencies, Downstairs: Dagger, Axe, Spear, Sword, Katana, Hammer, Staff, Bow, Sorcery, Enemy Skill Signature Skills: Scan, Analyze, Occam's Razor Features & Other Cool Stuff This thread is growing rather long and rather image heavy by this point I imagine, so I'm going to try and lock these feature demos behind spoiler tags. Hopefully that'll work without any hitches. Stealing Spoiler: Feature Demonstration Spoiler: Feature Demonstration This one's pretty simple. You don't get to be a master spy without knowing how to pick a pocket. Simmons' Lift skill is powerful, with a much higher success chance than you've learned to expect from mainstream JRPGs and the potential to steal powerful, game-changing items, like the "Ring of Spellturning" pictured above. "Blue Science" Spoiler: Feature Demonstration Spoiler: Feature Demonstration Watanabe's analyzer can, well...if you find the font above hard to read, it can "Scan' enemies weaknesses/resistances or absorb some Sorcery spells and Enemy Skills from enemies with 'Analyze'. Watanabe starts the journey weak and fragile but absorb enough magic and she becomes a fearsome blue wizard. Observe: This also ties into the Research Points system described below. Use-ID & Strangers In A Strange Land Spoiler: Feature Demonstration By now, I think you might have gathered that the alternate dimension down the Staircase is, or appears to be, Archetypical JRPG Land. Well, this spec-ops team made up of "real people" from present day Earth have no idea how to deal with that. They spend half an in-game hour figuring out what a Save Crystal is. They are fascinated/baffled/infuriated by the arbitrary cruelty of Mimics. This is their reaction when they first hit an on-touch encounter: Once again, please forgive the janky font-switch. I took 80% of my screenshots before converting to the more readable font. Anyway, it stands to reason (and thanks to JustAShyDoge for pointing this out) that the magic potions they encounter would be equally incomprehensible to them. I borrowed a common feature from popular roguelikes (the only thing really roguelike at all about this game) by letting you "use-id" these potions. Observe: Note that I happened to use Watanabe while taking the above screens but ANY character can identify potions by drinking them. Research & Ordnance Points Spoiler: Feature Demonstration The amount of "Interdimensional Artifacts" (magic items) you collect, the amount of enemy corpse pieces you lug back, and the number of Sorcery spells and Enemy Skills that Naomi successfully analyzes all contribute to your Research Point total. Research points don't do anything in Episode I (besides get you a better research grade), but... Starting with Episode II, you'll be able to allocate your earned Research Points to six different Research Paths. Now Ordnance Points are the flip-side of Research Points and are awarded for things like battle performance, killing optional bosses, and collecting dog-tags from dead enemy soldiers. From Episode II onwards, you'll be able to use your Ordnance Points to well... The Bigger PictureRoad To Paradise A game--actually two closely related games--about two very different worlds colliding and the spectacular consequences that result. As you may have noticed me being cute, the initials are indeed "RTP". Take from that what you will. Road To Paradise - The Dragon is the story of Izuno, a very young dragon and the protege and ward of one of the Seven Dragon Barons that rule the world of Ryntparthea. On the floating isle of Veridian, Izuno's master discovers a strange spacial anomaly at Voidsreach Tower, and sends Izuno to investigate along with Teos, a mage of the Chronomancer's guild, a Princess from Fellgard seeking aid for her people's war against the Ebon Dragon Baron, and a Dark Acolyte of the Ruby Goddess Lenore, from distant Silvermoon. The player can choose at the beginning of the game whether Izuno is a Flame Dragon, a Frost Dragon, a Forest Dragon, or a Sky Dragon. Izuno can also shift freely between his true dragon form and a human guise. Some NPCs will treat him differently based on his appearance. Road To Paradise - The Staircase is the other side of the story. Both games will be episodic story-focused JRPGs. This will be a commercial game after the first episodes if there is sufficient interest, but the first episodes will always be free to play. Commercially released episodes, if and when there are any, will include both sides of the story--The Dragon and The Stairway. So, the best case scenario is: lots of people play the first Episode of both halves and enjoy them. Work begins on subsequent episodes as a commercial project, with the next step being Steam Greenlight. But if there isn't enough public interest to justify going commercial, this is sadly as far as this project goes, at least until if and when there is sufficient public interest. Thanks y'all for hearing out my pitch. Please play the heck out of it and let me know what you think.