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Mobile Game Progress and Other Things

Been almost completely offline over the last week. My apologies for that. My absence was due to how busy I was. I spent the week entertaining a friend from out of town, working on FutureDude projects, prepping my motorcycle for Spring, and getting a little work done on my mobile game: Enough work, in fact, that I've got new screen shots to share.

The game, by the way, is workingly titled Totema, and the story follows a young adventurer named Soma as she makes her way through the world; going on quests, unravelling story arcs and the like. The top graphic is a scene from one of her early quests. In it, she is offered a reward to clear out a military guard post and free the way for travel to other parts of the world. Her actions and decisions during this quest will determine the way the story unfolds later. Many other decisions will also affect the ongoing story.

An RPG needs a world map, and this one takes the shape of a travel log. Sort of a moleskine. The page on the left defaults to Soma's stats, but can also toggle through an inventory screen and a main menu. The page on the right shows a map of the area Soma is currently in. Tapping on towns, structures and other locations will bring her to them. Tapping on sign posts brings her to an adjacent area on the world map.

Pretty much every graphic on the world map shown above is a placeholder.

Soma starts the game in a shack owned by her mentor, Mara, where she has a chance to go on several tutorial-style quests. Mara's quests will teach Soma to fight, train, equip weapons and armor, use her inventory and trade with people in towns. One of Mara's later quests will lead Soma to a totema, which is a magical item that grants its wielder special powers in battle. There are many unique totema throughout the world, each of which grants a different set of powers when equipped.

The image of Mara's shack is fairly representative of its final look, although the NPC face is just a placeholder graphic.

When Soma goes to town, she can talk to NPCs to get information and in-character hints or tips, and pick up the occasional side quest. She can also visit buildings. She can rest to regain health and action points at the Inn, purchase goods or join the merchants' guild at the mercantile, train or join the mercenaries' guild at their guild hall, buy and sell weapons or armor at the blacksmith, and so on. She can choose from additional side quests at any inn, or at a guild's headquarters if she's a member. Not every town has every type of building available, and certain locations have unique buildings that Soma will unlock by making specific choices.

The NPCs on the left and the options on the right in this shot are more placeholder graphics.

Finally, there is the combat screen. Soma will spend a lot of time here, as a lot of quests will be resolved with combat. Most of the world map is also prone to random encounters as Soma travels through it, so combat will happen between missions as well. This is the most code-heavy part of the game, with up to three simple AI scripts making decisions at a time and multiple combat options available to Soma, the outcomes of which are determined by Soma's and her enemies' stats.

This shot is a mix of final graphics and placeholders, most notably the battle options on the right. All the text and values that seem to pop up randomly on the screen are there for testing. They let me know which functions are running and what values affect them. They are just for testing and debugging, and will not appear in the final game.

So that's what I'm working on. I had originally planned on going full bore on this project, starting next month, but that was when my contract with FutureDude was scheduled to wrap up at the end of March. Now that my position with FutureDude is ongoing, Totema will be a bit of a side project for me. So, I've no idea how much or how often I'll get to work on it, but I will keep you updated when I do.