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Inquisitor's Oath - A Dark, Story-Driven JRPG
 
 
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Genre: RPG
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Languages: English
Players: Single-player
Posted
Mar 11, 2016 @ 6:05am
Description
The dogs are at your heels. The smell of burned buildings and your former friends' blood saturates your hair. Did you do the right thing? Should you have left her to be burned?

In the midst of chaos, will you be able to protect her now?


The Story

In a world of hard choices and grim truths, you play Alissa, a branded Inquisitor for the Light, charged with hunting down the spawn of the Fomorian demons lest they overrun the world. But you became convinced that one of your targets did not deserve to die - and now you are on the run with her, fighting to survive in the civil war your actions sparked.

Narrowly evading your pursuers, you take shelter with a provincial lord, trading your skills for his support. But his family, and the manor in which you shelter, its grounds, and its below-ground complex, are filled with secrets and the aftermath of selfish decisions...

The story of Alissa's past and that of her ward intertwine with the secrets of the manor as both return to haunt you. Will you survive? And if you do, what else will you have to burn to ash?


The Gameplay

Inquisitor's Oath will combine classic JRPG gameplay with complex, branching decision-making dialogue and choices similar to The Witcher 3 or Life Is Strange.

Combat will be a significant but not overwhelming part of the game. Whilst many of the most crucial changes in the game will hinge on decisions you make, the manor's curse, Alissa's enemies, and the depths of the complex below the manor will all provide plenty of opportunity for fast-paced action.

I'm still developing the combat system - and I'd love to hear comments on what you'd prefer! Currently I'm testing both:
  • An "initiative" system similar to The Banner Saga, where characters act according to their speed and the complexity of their actions, and managing the turn order is a major strategic element.
  • A classic Final Fantasy-style ATB system where characters' action bars fill up, and they can take actions in semi-real-time as they do so.

In either case, you'll control a party of characters with their own unique, coherent ability sets. You'll start out controlling Alissa and Gwenn (the woman she's risking her life to protect), and meet two more characters as you explore the depths of the manor.

I'm using a twist on experience. Rather than the usual weird RPG progression where a character who is meant to be hyper-competent (Geralt in Witcher 3, for example) starts out as pathetic and gains power through the course of the game, Alissa and Gwenn recover power as they recover from their ordeal just before the start of the game. They'll do that both by physically resting and recovering confidence as they explore the manor, its surrounds, and the complex below it, and uncover its secrets.

Other characters who join you will gain experience in a more conventional way - assuming they survive!

I'm expecting overall play time to be around 5-8 hours, between interaction with characters in the manor and exploring its grounds, its secrets, and the complex below it.


The Graphics

I'm combining classic JRPG-style 16-bit graphics with hand-painted shadows and lighting. As a CGI and live-action filmmaker I'm very used to "painting with light", and I'll be using that ability to its fullest extent to add depth and atmosphere to the world.

My touchstones for the visual design is the amazing game "To The Moon" - which has phenomenal lighting - as well as the fantastic approach that Stardew Valley takes to organic tileset design.

I'm also experimenting with a more organic painted style for the tilesets, as you'll see in a couple of the screenshots, and I'd love to hear what you think. Do you prefer the classic 16-bit look or the smoother, more organic painterly style?


So What Do You Think?

Please do give me feedback in the comments, because every bit helps improve the game! Does the story sound intriguing? Does it sound like a game you want to play? Is there anything you feel is a must-have, or anything that would be an instant "nope, not playing this!"?

Feel free to be blunt - but if you think there are things about this concept that you like, please do let me know about them too!

Thanks for your time looking at Inquisitor's Oath.
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2 Comments
Johan Apr 8, 2016 @ 11:45am 
The game looks interesting and the graphics fit the style well. The story pitch is also interesting enough for me.

May I ask what engine you are using in the development of the game?
a kitten Mar 11, 2016 @ 6:53am 
I very much like the idea of the recovery mechanic.

I'm also intrigued to see how the plot plays out with a decision making mechanic.

Regarding the battle systems, I haven't played Banner Saga yet so I'm not sure I can speak to that style of combat, although I'm also intrigued as to how a JRPG-style game would fit with more tactics-based combat. I'm not sure if I think it would or wouldn't work!

Good luck.