After 18 months of quiet development, the first part of the game Santharia is now ready for open beta.
Santharia is an RPG game built with the Story Nexus engine. You have characteristics, equipment, armors. You evolve within the world of Santharia, a huge fantasy world built by the Santharia project. You obtain quests, resolve them, get experience points, increase your level, etc. Just like a regular RPG game.
Feel free to reply on this thread if you have any comments regarding the game.
edited by rominet on 1/5/2014
Sounds like an amazing effort! I’ll try it out.
I’m really enjoying the big world and RPG aspects. The only thing is I find the small amount of actions/low refresh rate, along with how many actions it takes to travel makes it a little hard to get into. Going to the inn to change equipment also takes a lot of actions, and when combined with travel, I usually use up all my actions in 5 minutes. I think it would be a lot easier to get into with more actions/and or a faster refresh rate, especially since there isn’t a lot of text in the game and limited actions in each location.
That seems like a fair comment. I also find 20 actions to be quite small. I increased the bank to 30 actions. I don’t want to increase the rate of refresh because I don’t want users to have to come back too often just for the sake of not loosing action points.
I don’t think most people worry about that. I have Fallen London open in my browser all the time, but other SN games I usually just open as and when. The main thing to think about with with actions and refreshes is just how fast you want people to digest your content. You should always leave them wanting more, so letting them get through it too fast is definitely a mistake. For the game I’m working on I’ve got it as 20 actions with a 10 minute refresh, which feels about right, but then, unlike you, I’m using the decks quite heavily (which is cheaper on actions) but then charging extra actions for quite a few activities in the pinned cards.
I played a bit and I’m impressed by the amount of content and some of the mechanics.
"Capacity" is quite a clever way to combine the fixed "reward" stat increases of most cRPGs and the more fluid "grindy" increases the Storynexus platform and its users seem to prefer.
But this mechanic’s not without its problems: The questlines demand vastly different skill challenges not only from chain to chain but from challenge to challenge. I’m virtually stuck on the main quest line, the military quest line, the mercenary guild quest line and maybe the trader’s guild quest line, just because I neglected diplomacy and discovery a bit. The only way out is grinding XP from menial tasks to level up some skills I may not even care for, building a very generic and non-specialised character, which is not the sort of gameplay I’m into and unfitting for a sandboxy RPG like this.
My suggestions here would be(I’m sure you’re already planning on something like this, but I want to add my own two cents, just in case):
-Add additional branches to the storylets of central questlines, allowing to apply two or more different skills for most/all challenges. I know this is much work, but it would add some layer of strategy and allow to build more specialised characters without getting utterly stuck.
-Restrict the skill challenges for each "smaller" questline to on one(as FL does), two or maybe three different skills. This allows the player to concentrate on the questlines most fitting their character and actually get some progress in them without grinding for ages.
It’s completely alright that other options(to acquire money and ressources) are quite strictly limited, because that changes the gameplay for different characters, which is always nice. I’m only having some beef with the effect this has on questlines.
Also, the grammar needs a bit cleanup and many sentences sound a bit(or a lot) awkward, but English isn’t my mother’s tongue nor my occupational specialty so I don’t think I can help there. I may or may not be articulate, but I’m terribly prone to mistakes[color= transparent] and Stilblüten.[/color]
Thanks for the long comment.
A few answers :
Unfortunately, this is not a "real" rpg in the sense that you can evolve your character the way you want. I do expect everyone to increase all of their stats. Every item is mandatory at one point or another. Every questline, even the ones that are considered side quests, are supposed to be played (you may be able to avoid one of them, but the game will be way harder). The main reason for all this is that, being a one-man work, contents take a lot of time to build, and I can’t afford to create something that may not be seen by players. That said, the path on which you create your character (which stats to specialize in at first) is up to the player.
I also like the fact that you have to change your skills regularly as it requires to re-optimize your equipment very regularly, instead of just keeping the one stat you care for all your stuff.
That said, I realize that the second part of the game is a bit too hard at the moment. It’s quite easy to get stuck with no way to get XPs by quests. I will definitely reduce the challenges for a few of them.
Nevertheless, I like your suggestions. I already have the mechanism of adding branches to the story to avoid some challenges by the way of magic (once you become a wizard), so I will definitely continue this path. Having questlines that are more stats oriented is a brilliant idea. I need to add that. It’s not necessarily easy to retrofit in the existing quest lines but I’ll see what I can do.
Unfortunately, I wanted to add some smaller quest lines with 2 or 3 quests, but I can’t really do that with Story Nexus without polluting the inventory too much (I can’t get rid of the quality once the quest is finished).
For grammar and spellchecking, I would definitely need some reviewer to help me on that part (and also some writer skill to add a bit of life in the world). I’m looking for help :)
Forgot one answer : I’m also planning to let people buy some capacity point with Nexus, which might help for some players if they get stuck. Another way would be to have a paid content (new quests) that will help you get XP and equipment.
A small announcement
The first part of the open beta is now over.
- Many bugs were squashed.
- Countless misspelling and bad formulations were rewritten in a more appropriate language (thanks to Artimidor for all the review and fixes).
- Many pictures were added thanks to the Santharian Dream project.
- The game difficulty was retuned to make it slightly easier.
- Some gameplay mechanism was added to avoid player to be stuck without any way to continue due to limited amount of "capacity".
The game is now near its final state. We are still reviewing the text and adding pictures.
I will now add content for the final dungeon that is not implemented. Once this part is over, it will be the end of the beta.
Dove into this for the first time this morning. Setting is appealing, early activities smooth: so far, so good. I echo, though, the commentary on actions above: a bank of 30 actions at 15 min per is 450 min to recharge, or almost 8 hours; that’s long enough to risk players forgetting, is my guess, but on the other hand there’s a fair chance that logging in 3 times per day will get you the most activity possible. Just feels like not enough :).
Bug report. Taking the option from Fang Julin to lead the militia to the smugglers’ hideout transported me back to Ciosa with no quest advancement - actually very annoying in addition for the 12-action loss of travel progress.
Second, more minor, bug report: At the final stage of quelling the prison rebellion, success leads to my Fighting Skills dropping.
Sorry for the late answer, I was not available recently.[li]
Can you give more details about the bug ?
I don’t understand how you can take the option to lead the militia to the smugglers’ hideout from Fang Julin. This action should only be available from Ciosa. hence the reason why you should be in Ciosa.
Regarding the final stage of the prison rebellion, your fighting skills is expected to drop because Lombard is leaving you and your fighting skill was a combination of both your’s and Lombard’s. I’ll add a message to explain it better.
Thanks for responding. Under the travel options from Fang Julin, there is listed ‘go to the hideout’ (or something similar) - that makes sense given that it’s described as being close to Fang Julin, not to the hideout.
When that option is taken, though, you just appear in Ciosa.
I just checked: there is no such travel option from Ciosa.
Also, now that you’re here: in all other elements of the game it looks as though I am at the content limit. Character level 8, with quests to go to the tomb of Ciosa (area noted as not yet built) and to vitas two sets of guild houses in cities not yet accessible. Am I right to think that there’s nothing else to do currently? Thanks.
Ha thanks !
Indeed, it was a bug that slipped through 2 weeks ago… It is fixed now.
And yes, you are more or less at the content wall at the moment (minus the hideout part that was bugged).