Friday, November 15, 2013

Valcarta II Changes!

Hello Valcartians!

Welcome to the first developer blog in quite some time! We have some great news for you all! Valcarta II is back in production! However, there have been some major changes to the layout of the game. As many of you may know, Valcarta I: Rise of the Demon had 2 distinct paths you could play through. Valcarta II does it a bit differently. With the differences in the Light and the Dark paths at the end of the first game we thought it was in the best interest of the series to split them and make them separate individual games, not to mention the file size of the game was getting quite large! With that set, we would like to introduce to you, Valcarta II as 3 separate games, all aimed to be around the 30 hours of developer play time (Valcarta I was 40 hours of developer play time with both paths combined). Since there are 3 separate games, each of them needs it's own title! Our current working thoughts:

Valcarta II: Domination   for the Dark Path
Valcarta II: Awakening   for the Light Path
Valcarta II: Deliverance   for the new Path

We hope that this new model allows for fans of individual paths to not feel obligated to play a path they have no interest in. For example, Talon's dad. He normally doesn't play anything presumed as "Evil" or "Dark" meaning that the Dark Path wouldn't interest him at all. Playing Valcarta I, it's likely you needed to play both the Light and the Dark Paths to get the full picture. We wanted to move away from that. Now, some of you may be wondering about the new pricing schemes that will be used with the division of the games. With Valcarta I, we set the game out at $15 for 40+ hours of game play. Since we are now aiming for 3 games of 30+ hours of game play, that will need to be changed. Our current estimate for the cost of the games will be about $10. Of course, this is all still up in the air :)

Currently we are working on the Valcarta II: Domination which follows the events and the characters from the Dark Path of Valcarta I. While we are working hard and are about 70% done, our estimated release date is Mid-January. Talon and I have just received different jobs so this date will likely need to be adjusted.

Keep track of our progress and keep your eyes peeled for BETA invites and information!

Until Next Time~
Art and Lorecat
Blacksword Games

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hello Valcartians!

   This is a very special developer blog post for yours truly, Talon. I'd like to take some time to explain some of the new details coming into Valcarta II: Awakening in this 3 part blog post.

   First off, combat. Valcarta I: Rise of the Demon saw a lot of random encounter pestering everyone left, right and center. The way of the uncontrolled random encounters, as seen in V-1 is over. Valcarta II: Awakening will be bringing a newer outlook to encounters by placing each unit on the map within a hostile zone.

   Much like above, different monsters have different movement patterns when walking on the map. Some will actively seek you out, others will move randomly through the zone. Enemies will also be moving at different speeds, sometimes even able to swarm you for up to 2-3 fights in close succession followed by a nice break. Keep in mind, that fighting at this point has become more optional, but no less challenging.

   We have also changed combat a bit from the Early video we showed off where combat was shown with 4 battle members at a time. This will not be the case anymore. After putting a lot of hours into playing the game, we determined that 4 members was making our combat too easy, and we needed to do something about it. We could either: A. Reduce the number of Combat members or B. Increase the number of enemies in a single encounter. Well, as it turns out, option a was our course of action. Option B faded out of our minds really quick when we realized that attacks that effect all enemies would still clear out an encounter quickly. Thus solidifying our route towards Option A, removing the 4 battle member.

   Despite only have 3 battle members in combat, there are more characters that you can chose to fight with at a given time. We have added a feature that will allow players to switch which combat members were available in the heat of battle. At the start of each round you will be able to sub in or out any member of the party (dead or alive). This feature comes in more handy when dealing with Boss monsters, Fay-Charged Monsters (FCMs) or even just random encounters.

   Lastly I wanted to touch on the newest changed we have made to combat as we have been messing with this a lot the last couple of weeks. With the combat party swapping mechanics, we decided to customize each character into their own role, making each one viable in different situations.

   For example: Dark Path Valak will specialize in dealing damage to foes with higher defense. As the enemy gains more and more defense per level, Valak's damage gets higher and higher.
   Where as another character, say Maria, specializes in taking out Fay related creatures such as slimes, elementals, spirits or Fay Beings!

   Overall, we want to create a fun and interesting battle flow for players to involve themselves in, whilst keeping the personality of each character predominate through every section of the game.

   That's all for tonight's post folks, stayed tuned for more this week! In part too we will discuss the games progression, how the split-path will work in V-2, and more!

Taylor Cox (Talon)
Blacksword Games CEO and Lead Developer of Valcarta

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Valcarta Art Blog for Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day Valcartians!

Today we have a special art blog. As per request today I'll be showing our newest piece of character art. A fairy named Yiako!

More information about Yiako will be released later! You'll find him on the Fayvale path!

Next we have Mystic Smiths: 

Mystic Smith's will teach you about crafting and sell crafting materials unable to be found anywhere else.

Next we have our shopkeepers:

You'll find her anytime you need potions, teleport stones, or stimulants!

LASTLY! We have someone incredible special that no information will be released about! So make sure you post your speculations in the comment box below.

Until Next Time~
Art and Lorecat
Blacksword Games

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Valcarta II: Awakening 4-25-13

Hello Valcartians,

Welcome to another blog, it has been quite some time since we last wrote to you!

We've been busy making the Dark Path of Valcarta II: Awakening, hopefully you are at the edge of your seat awaiting it's arrival.

Talon has been busy making maps and events for each scene. Our goal in mind is to show how Drachell and Valcarta as a whole have changed since the end of Rise of the Demon. As you can see below the Fairy Forest has changed quite a bit.

Mikheli on the other hand has been busy making a vast majority of the art in the game (pretty much everything but the tilesets and sprites! hahahaha), from characters talking in scenes, to the battle art! I am pleased to show you all my efforts and hope you all enjoy them as much as I do when I make them!
We are soon going to change the battle back ground from the original RTP to one I will hand draw myself.
Above we have a example of a scene Talon and I have worked on. Hopefully our efforts are enjoyed.

Until Next Time!
Mikheli (Art and Lorecat)
Amanda Smith
Blacksword Games

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Greetings Valcartians!

Seldom do I write to you, but Mikheli is currently swamped with work, as she has taken on the task of drawing up our Character Art. It's been quite a while since we have written and there is much we can relay to you all! Let's get to it shall we?

Valcarta I:
I'd like to start by outlining the recent success of Valcarta I, as it has gotten onto 2 of the biggest RPG Maker game sites that we know of (Aldorlea Games and Amaranthia Games) This as not only got us great exposure, but also a large boost in sales, which directly help the development of the Valcarta series! Remember, if you haven't picked up Valcarta I yet, you can find it on our website

Valcarta II:
Now for the good stuff, the reason why you're all here! You wanna hear the juicy news we have in store for you for Valcarta II. Well, where to begin? Oh yes, that should do!  Monday has officially marked the start of Valcarta II: Awakening's Production phase, meaning that all the planning and ground work for the game has been completed and we can get into the bulk of the work. Mikheli and I are both very excited about this project and we hope we can meet the standards we have set for ourselves. Our production schedule, as of right now, sets us to complete the game and enter testing phases by the end of May. We hope that we will be able to bring you a vast, exciting and engaging RPG within that time frame. I hope that the fans of the game will be signing up for the BETA test (TBA) as we will have 10 spots open for testers.

First on the board for production: Music
We have compiled a list of over 70 tracks to add to the game. These tracks make up all game songs (World Map, Dungeon, Character Themes, etc.). We feel that, in terms of music, Valcarta I fell short a bit so we hope to bring music into Valcarta II to bring it much more life. The songs have been obtained through many different resource packs, offered by the RPG Maker developers in hopes of widening the range of what music will accomplish in the game since we know it has such a great influence.

 Second off: Dungeon Demo
So I'm sure most of you have heard, but there is a Dungeon Demo being released sometime within the next week (or so). This will allow users to play a side-dungeon within game for the first 10 floors. You will have access to 4 characters (Dark Valak, Maria, Mikheli and.... Luci!). You will travel through the vast labyrinth that is aptly named "The Labyrinth of the Forgotten". This dungeon was created by the Dwarves of Lorham to hold and protect the treasures of the Knightblades. The Labyrinth is ever changing, meaning that no one will ever walk the same path through it. Each doorway and each staircase found within the dungeon will bring you to a new, randomly selected area. There are a total of 60 different areas in which you can enter, 30 of which have puzzles and a staircase down to the next floor, the other 30 are filled with monsters and will take you to a new room. The objective of this dungeon is to make it to the bottom, where you will be able to fight against and Ancient Guardian of the Knightblades. This guardian will give you a rare crafting item as well as unique accessory to bolster your arsenal going into the tough battles within the game. Every 10 floors with the Labyrinth puts the characters against a boss, that will be set a specific minimum difficulty and must be beaten before you are allowed to proceed any further. The possibilities within this dungeon are seemingly limitless, allowing you to fully level your characters if you spent long enough in here.

 Next bit of information: Crafting, Enemies and Character Growth!
As you may have noticed from Valcarta I, there was a lot of junk that dropped from enemies. This junk can now be used for something other than just selling for GP. Junk can now be used to craft or enhance gear into strong pieces and is currently Mikheli's Pride and Joy as she has worked vigorously on this all month (sadly, she's still not done...) Look forward to playing with the large amount of gear options for each character to build up your ideal team!
We've also changed how enemies and Player Characters will grow and develop. We have talked a bit about the Class changing system, giving the player the ability to change between 3 different classes when they want, allowing them to learn different skills and alter the rate in which certain stats grow. The stat curves are very step, so players will see a lot of gain early on, and will need to relay more on strategic game play later on.
That being said, we've changed the way enemies work, where-in they will level up with the character providing a tough challenge at any point in the game. Naturally, there will get strong and weaker enemies types depending on where you go. We hope that this layer of the game will bring a new and exciting challenge to Valcarta fans!

Lastly: World Travel
We've written the main story scripts for each of the Paths within the game: Dark Path, Light Path and the Fayvale Special Ops. Each of these groups of heroes take a different path through the world, bringing them to different areas at different times within the story. We have decided to go with a more non-traditional route and use a strict Fast Travel system that allows the player to select a destination which will be available to him/her based on which Chapter of the story the are currently in. Since the group of heroes has an objective to meet, free roaming throughout the 3 open provinces is really something we wanted to offer, thus limiting you to where you can go. That also being said, this will provide us with some cool tricks we can throw into some areas that will make the player want to explore everywhere before progressing the story further. I have developed 3 World Maps (Top Left: Illymader, Bottom Left: Fayvale and Right: Neo-Drachell) each of these maps will not be used in game, but are being used by our map artist, Kuma, to create a nice, hand-drawn adaptation of this so that the players see a clean version of this every time they select a destination. We hope that this new system will bring in some excitement.
Along with this system, I would just like to say, that this will not take away from zone discovery/exploration. By exiting an area to the world map, you are able to select are area which removed the need to walk around on an Overworld setting like in Valcarta I. By selecting this area, you will enter that area, and are free to explore and seek out your object. It's still very open ended!
Valcarta II - RPG Maker Tiled Map (Drawn version coming soon)
I hope you enjoyed this weeks Developer Blog, and I hope we can keep you all interested with our Dungeon Demo coming out later this week.

This is Talon, Blacksword Games - Supreme Overlord signing off!
Good Night everyone, and Stay Frosty!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valcarta II: Awakening Video Blog 1 - Dungeon Demo

Mikheli shares with us a nice dungeon demo! Sorry for the delay and enjoy!

The sound occasionally bugs out due to a upload quality error. We will make sure it's fixed next time!

Until Next Time,
Taylor Cox (Talon)
CEO and Boss Cat @ Blacksword Games
Amanda Smith (Mikheli)
Official Lorecat @ Blacksword Games

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Valcarta II: Awakening Preproduction update 3!

Greetings Valcartians ~

This week was a crazy one!

During the input of all our 1500ish skills, we ran into a small issue of a system limit of 999. Alas through vigorous research and Mikheli's super detective skills, we found a way to bypass that issue!

After, couldn't have been more than a hour, Mikheli got into a car accident! She is alright, although she has a few bruises and a bad knee now. She is most definitely feeling the injuries this afternoon.

Good news on the crafting system phase 1 has been complete and now Mikheli has begun inputting recipes!

Talon has been making exceptional progress inputting skills, finishing 4 character + a day (each character has 75ish skills).

Sorry for the short post~

Also! The Dev Blog will now be updated every other week!
Make sure you like our Facebook, follow our Twitter, and join us on Steam!

Until Next Time,
Amanda Smith (Mikheli)
Official Lorecat @ Blacksword Games