As usual, despite the lack of updates I've still been adamantly working on the game. In fact, it probably means I've been working on the game more than usual.
Anyone who is familiar with the progress at this point is likely aware that one of my main concerns, preventing the game from being launched, is the lack of a quality story. To that end I've been continuing research on how to improve this aspect of the game. Part of this process has involved reading a few books...
Creating Character Arcs: The Masterful Author's Guide to Uniting Story Structure
In many ways this was just what I was looking for and provides a very practical workflow for creating strong character arcs. Integral to any good story (at least the ones I enjoy) are well defined characters. Thinking back to some of my favourite games, such as Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 6, and more recently Persona 3/4/5, the characters are memorable and keep my coming back for more playthroughs. I highly recommend this book.
The Hero with a Thousand Faces
The popularity of this book likely precedes my mentioning it, but I figured if it worked for (the original trilogy of) Star Wars, it couldn't hurt to inspire my own story. Unsurprisingly, I would argue it has done just that. Drawing on vast mythologies across space and time Joseph Campbell provides a unifying categorization of "the hero's journey." Although some aspects of the book, and its terminology, appear a bit dated by today's standards, I would argue it still succeeds at the goal it sets out. I wouldn't necessarily recommend blindly following along with everything proposed in the book, but it certainly provides one with a more diverse set of tools to apply at will. I highly recommend this book too!
Now, as of yesterday, having finished both books, I've ordered a few more, specifically to help with improving character dialog. If anyone has recommendations, I am very open to suggestions!
During all this time, I'm also happy to say there has been significant progress in the more technical aspects of the game, including sound design, artwork, character/ability animations, and much much more.
As we approach the completion of this project, hopefully by the end of this year, I'm looking for someone to help finish up some UI/UX work. There is a fantastic foundation in place, provided by Gabby, but there are a few small elements/icons left to finish up. If you, or someone you know, is interested in this paid work, please send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org