Sneak Preview #17: So... where were we?

A steampunk RPG
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FenCayne
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Sneak Preview #17: So... where were we?

Post by FenCayne » Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:01 pm

Apologies in advance about the big ol' Wall of Text. I just had to get this off my chest, and maybe allay a few fears (for the two of you who may still be hoping Roger Steel appears before the next millenium). I will try to check back somehwat regularly and resume the Sneak Peeks, but, er, no promises.

Anyways TL;DR: Roger Steel is still in production and doubled in size; projected finished script, this year; projected publication, next year. Its humble scribe has taken on board some of the feedback received some mumblemumble years ago, and looks forward to any and all feedback...

Now, where were we?

So... I just turned in the latest instalment of Roger Steel to Jack and the manuscript sits at 150,000 words, so I thought it was about time I gave you patient people an update on the game as it stands now. I’m sorry it’s been a while.

The game as Jack and I are designing it is pretty much as I described in the earlier Sneak Peeks, but in light of comments and various other factors, we’ve made various tweaks.

Firstly, let’s recap what the game is:

Roger Steel is a VN RPG in the mode of Loren rather than SotW. This was going to be so even before the response to SotW’s combat-heavy design. Roger Steel was always going to be about the story and the relationships between the characters through the story.

In my naivety, I originally contracted for 90,000 words and delivery in a few months. Obviously I blew both those targets to smithereens, and then ran over them with a tank a few times just to be sure they couldn’t be resurrected; although they do continue to haunt me... :oops:

Although I haven’t done the calculations yet based on work completed and number of Episodes left to do, I am expecting the final word count to be around 200,000 words, and as for the deadline... let’s just say 2016 currently looks achievable and move quickly on...

One of the reasons for the above is the fact we have 12 romances plus friendship tracks to plot and script (6 each for Ann and Arthur). Another reason is that there are hundreds of choices, many mutually exclusive on any one playthrough, and for each choice most have at least a hundred or so – and sometimes thousands of – words of unique dialogue with attendant consequences.

Let’s be clear – the plot of Roger Steel is relatively precise and linear – rescue your sibling – and so is the route you take to get there; however, navigating the relationships you need to effectively complete the game is anything but...

Essentially, the game revolves around relationships. Your character’s relationships with the party members affect everything in role-playing terms, not only the nature and strength of the skills you learn, but also the strength of your primary stats – Health, Courage (offence) and Endurance (defence). This goes for your companions’ stats too. How you relate to them dictates how effectively they fight and perform as a team, whether the player chooses to engage in combat or autoplay the battles.

That’s right - anyone who wishes to play the game in VN mode and concentrate on the story can build stats simply through strategic conversation options and non-combat activities.

Anyway, enough on that for the time being. What has changed in the last 21 months (yikes!) since I wrote here last?

I’m going to rewrite some of the details of Ann and Arthur’s background to make it clear that however the player chooses to role-play in the game is reflected in their history before the game starts. For example, for those pursuing non-heterosexual relationships in-game, Ann and Arthur’s back-story will reflect that choice. Although Ann’s affair will continue to be the impetus for the characters meeting Roger Steel, whether that affair is heterosexual or homosexual (or actually a momentous misunderstanding) will depend on player choice.

Similarly, in initiating their romantic relationships with Christina and Neville, the player character’s gender will determine the sexual orientation of their chosen partner. For example, if Arthur confesses his love for Neville, then the Neville of that play-through will be homosexual (and will have a back-story to match). To be clear – there will be no question of converting their would-be lover to teh gay! I hope this allays some of the concerns posters such as ChaosMorning expressed about perpetuating homosexual stereotypes.

Finally, (for this post at least), being set in the alternate 1930s, Roger Steel is obviously not strictly steampunk, but more dieselpunk in both aesthetics and technology. There will still be airships and steam technology, especially in the remote areas being traversed by Ann, Arthur and co., but the more overt accoutrements of steampunk genre will be somewhat muted. I hope this doesn’t upset too many people who are into bustles, corsets, and frock coats but I think this subtle change in genre-setting will make for a more unique and interesting experience.

As always, comments are welcome and I really look forward to hearing any ideas you may have about making Roger Steel a better game.

Troyen
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Re: Sneak Preview #17: So... where were we?

Post by Troyen » Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:38 pm

FenCayne wrote:and maybe allay a few fears (for the two of you who may still be hoping Roger Steel appears before the next millenium).
Certainly more than that! Looking forward to the game, though hopefully we won't have to wait until 2017.

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jack1974
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Re: Sneak Preview #17: So... where were we?

Post by jack1974 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:46 pm

I fear we might need to wait until that, even if Fen manages to finish everything this year... then needs to be completely scripted (and adding background/images to a 200,000 words game... takes a while :lol:)
Also, artist while being very good (has a unique style I love it) didn't even do the FIRST of the various romance CGs! If takes a month to do each... we need to wait 1 year just for that.
Obviously, I'll make sure to crack my motivational whip with vigorous impetus :lol:

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PaperDragon
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Re: Sneak Preview #17: So... where were we?

Post by PaperDragon » Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:48 pm

Thank you so much for the update! While I'm looking forward to all of Winter Wolves games, I think this is the one that I'm most excited about. With all the work that's been put into it, it sounds even more amazing than it did at first. It sounds, too, like the game is going to be huge which is always welcome. I gotta admit, I love steampunk but the art to this game never really screamed steampunk at me. I think an amalgamation of steampunk and dieselpunk will be totally cool. I also like the way player choices will influence the romance (in fact, this game sounds like it's based around player choices, which is awesome).

I just wanted to post to say I'm still super excited about this game and to wish everyone working on it the best of luck. (And keep up the great work!)

(Hate the idea of waiting til 2017 or later, but at least I'll be playing the other Winter Wolves games to release between now and then.)

Rebly82
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Re: Sneak Preview #17: So... where were we?

Post by Rebly82 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:10 pm

One of the reasons for the above is the fact we have 12 romances plus friendship tracks to plot and script (6 each for Ann and Arthur). Another reason is that there are hundreds of choices, many mutually exclusive on any one playthrough, and for each choice most have at least a hundred or so – and sometimes thousands of – words of unique dialogue with attendant consequences.
Everything looks like it's coming on so sweetly! By the way, Jack, do you have an updated romance chart (It can be a simple one) that you can post for us to see? :)

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Re: Sneak Preview #17: So... where were we?

Post by Foelhe » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:10 pm

I think you underestimate the number of people still looking forward to this. The heavy amount of relationship building sounds really great, and I for one am willing to be patient while you work out all the details.

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Sylrissa
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Re: Sneak Preview #17: So... where were we?

Post by Sylrissa » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:56 pm

Yes I would love to see a relationship chart myself.

FenCayne
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Re: Sneak Preview #17: So... where were we?

Post by FenCayne » Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:28 pm

Very simple romance chart for those who requested one:

Ann x Christine | Lesbian
Ann x Neville | Hetero.
Ann x Roger |Bi.
Ann x Svetlana | Bi
Ann x Hamilton | Hetero.
Ann x Anja | Lesbian

Arthur x Christine | Hetero.
Arthur x Neville | Gay
Arthur x Roger | Bi.
Arthur x Svetlana | Bi.
Arthur x Mei Ling | Hetero.
Arthur x Abhay | Gay

Platonic (best friend) relationships are available for all characters. There is no penalty for not wanting to pursue a romantic relationship, only for being an ass. And even there, some characters are more tolerant than others.
Last edited by FenCayne on Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jack1974
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Re: Sneak Preview #17: So... where were we?

Post by jack1974 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:30 pm

I'll make a proper chart with portraits in next days, so people can put faces to names (not all characters have been properly introduced yet).
But yes as you can see is as big as one of the Loren's next two games :shock:

FenCayne
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Re: Sneak Preview #17: So... where were we?

Post by FenCayne » Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:41 pm

jack1974 wrote:I'll make a proper chart with portraits in next days
Yeah, I was being 'quick and dirty' here. I knew you'd come up with something better. :)

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