Playtesting : Santharia


I have started a very early prototype of a game based on StoryNexus engine.

The main design of the game is the following : I’m trying to build a game that has the feeling of a MMORPG in a very typical fantasy setting. In this idea, the main gameplay element is to have a huge world. The quests and the story are following a flow that make players naturally visit the world. The main activity is going from one place to the other and doing quests or killing stuff. Moving from one place to the other costs a significant amount of action points, so players need to optimize a bit the route. Once in a place, the player can do some actions related to existing quests, or some skill challenges that slowly increase the stats.

A bit more details :

  • For the world, I am using Santharia. This is a free world developed by free volunteers. In particular the province of Manthria (see website) is very well detailed and is the start of the game.
  • I have 4 main skills : fighting, athletics, diplomacy and discovery. In each place, there are always challenges for usually 2 or 3 of these skills. The range is set so that you have to move regularly to different places. A successful challenge usually gives you something : gold, item, reputation, etc. Some challenges are also gated by other qualities (gold, item, reputation). Some actions cost an item but are not a challenge.
  • I am planning to add one special skill : magic skill. This one would be very hard to upgrade, easier by buying learning book, or going to the wizard university, etc. magic skill could be used in a few places for very specific case. And also for fast transportation. Magic portals will be available from main cities to go to other large cities. using these portals would require a high skill value.
  • Quests : I am planning to have quests with long chain. One main quests from the beginning to the end of the game, and many smaller quests per province. The quests usually require you to go to almost all the places of the province for various things. The main quest is currently related to a ring engraved with “Dragon Slayer” and the goal is to find out where this ring is coming from. The province related quest is about a group of mercenaries attacking people in the region. This is the main part of the game where the story is constructed.
  • Apart from quests, every location has some simple challenges that increase the skills stats and let the player wins some objects. The objects are used during the quests as a prerequisite.
  • There is no hit points (users cannot die, they can simply fail a challenge and start again).
  • There will be dungeons. It will be a serie of increasingly difficult challenge. You can obtain objects in the world that could help you to overcome some of the challenges. If one challenge fails, the whole dungeon run fails and you need to start from scratch. The end of the dungeon is a large reward (usually related to a quest.
  • I am using only “sometimes” deck as I am not interested in random storylets.

After more than a month, I have written around 1/3 of the first chapter. It should be enough for 2 or 3 days of play. My main issue is the quality of the writing. My mother tongue is not english and my texts are too short and too flat. I am looking for volunteers if some people are interested to build the game with me (some people with good english skills :)

The second issue is the lack of map. All the game is centered around exploration and the map is absolutely necessary. The project of Santharia already has a wonderful map that I will re-use. I just discovered recently that I can add images to the game, so I will add maps soon.

I don’t want to open the world to everyone as it is far from ready, but I am interested to see if some persons are interested in the project and would like to help and/or test it. Please let me know in this thread with the name of your character and I will add the key of dreams to it.

This does sound interesting, even though I have no experience with MMORPGs. I’d love to take a look at the world and help with your English. My user name is Charlotte Pike, and the character I have created is called Ruby Red.

Hi Charlotte,

Thanks for your interest. I have given you the Key of Dreams quality so you can start playing.
Let me know if you have any issue.

I played through a round of the game. So far, I’m interested in the world and the plot, and I’ll definitely keep playing. I would prefer if you provided a little more information on, for example, what I talk about with the priest or how I stop the fight in the inn. While brevity is good, it’s always best to add some details to make the world seem more real.

The grammar mistakes that I noticed:

  • On the first page, “You character will improve…” should be “Your character will improve…”[/li][li]"…every locations have…" should be “…every location has…”[/li][li]Under “Something begins” on the “Adventure begins” page, “a smell of burn” should probably be “a smell of burning” or "a smell of fire.[/li][li]“The village is usually full of sounds, from children playing outside and today, everything is silent.” This can probably be broken into the sentences “The village is usually full of sounds from children playing outside. Today, everything is silent.”[/li][li]Under “Search in the ashes of your house” from the “Merovin” card, “As a same time” should be “At the same time.” Also, in the parentheses at the end, you don’t need a comma after “so.”[/li][li]On the success option for the above card, “…with a small crystal, with carved inside, the words…” might be better put as “…with a small crystal. Carved inside are the words…”[/li][li]“In addition, you also…” is redundant. You only need one.[/li][li]Under “Give some tools” on the “In the farms” card for Lynlith, “You could give them to the farmers, they would be very happy” should either be two sentences or have a semicolon rather than a comma.[/li][li]Under “Ask neighbors about the attack of Merovin” from the same card, “Even though they live only a few miles from Merovin, they haven’t heard a thing of the unfortunate fate of Merovin” doesn’t need to have the name of the town twice. You could put “only a few miles away” instead.[/li][li]Under “Kill wolves” on the “In the fields” card for Lynlith, the plural for “cattle” is “cattle.”[/li][li]Under “To the town of Klinsor” from the travel card, the phrase “economical activity” is a bit awkward. “Strong economy” might be a bit better.[/li][li]Unless it only belongs to one whaler, the guild of Klinsor ought to be "whalers’ " rather than “whaler’s.”[/li][li]Under “Buy magic powder” on the “In the Market” card for Klinsor, “so many different usage” should be “so many different uses.”[/li][li]From the same card, under the heading, “buzzying” ought to be simply “buzzing.”[/li][li]“Engage some conversation” from the “In the ‘Faring Inn’” card ought to be “Engage in some conversation.”[/li][li]Under “Speak with the priest” on the “In the shrine of Baveras” card, “This is always good…” should be “It is always good…”[/li][li]On the failure event for “Look for whales” on the “In the whaler’s guild-house” card, “You didn’t find any whale today” should be “You didn’t find any whales today.”[/li][li]On the success event for “A fight has started between two customers” on the “In the ‘Faring Inn’” card, “Every on” should be “Everyone”.[/li][li]The first paragraph on the result for “Talk with Gunthar about the attack of Merovin” on the “In the garrison” card ought to be in quotes.

Thanks a lot for all the feedback. I modified all the cards according to your corrections. That’s very useful for me !

Would you be interested to work a bit more with me on this game ? I’m always happy to share the project with someone else. I could give the right to edit the cards while playing, and you will just have to modify them as you play (thanks to the nice interface of Story Nexus).

Thanks for highlighting the fact that most cards are a bit too short and lacking some details to create a richer atmosphere. I’m aware of that but I had lots of trouble to come up with good short but interesting comments. If this is something you would be interested to add to the game, that would be great (but that’s a different level of involvement than “just” grammatical fixes, so I don’t want to push you into something you don’t want to do !)

Thanks again for your work !

Sure, I’d be interested. It’d probably be a bit easier on both of us if I didn’t have to tally everything up. :)

I’m not sure I should try adding content. This is your game, after all. You’re the artist; I’m just the editor.

That sounds good. I will ask the admin to give write access.

Regarding the content, it is up to you. I am planning to open the writing to other players/artists. I know I don’t have enough time to develop the full game within a reasonable delay. My plan is to start the game, to give a feeling of where it should go and it should work, then try to recruit people that are interested to continue it with me. I already have some experience of managing a shared story among multiple writers.

I agree that it is still a bit too early for that. So, let’s keep it like that for now, and I’ll re-ask you in a couple of months if you are interested :)

Hello, my character is Victoria de Lambert if you can add me, thanks :)

spiralx: I gave the key of dreams to your character. You should be able to play the game now.