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Foxblade Fable - A 90's JRPG Inspired Adventure

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OVERVIEW
Foxblade Fable is a fantasy adventure inspired by late 90s anime and JRPGS, and is in particular inspired by 2D PS1 & Saturn games. The game follows the adventure of Leigh Ravengale and his friends as they travel to a variety of locations to destroy the Binding Stones that summon and control monsters plaguing the kingdom.

PLOT SUMMARY

Spoiler

Between two kingdoms - the Telurian Empire, and the Preithes Republic - a brutal war has raged on for many years. Faced with an onslaught of terrifying monsters known as Dreadbeasts under the control of their enemies, the Telurian Empire forms a group known as the Blades: elite warriors under the direct orders of King Rowan and trained from a young age to slay these Dreadbeasts.

In the midst of this war, a young fox boy named Leigh Ravengale lives in the quiet village of Ashvale on the outskirts of Teluria, under the care of the village elder after his parents fell in battle. Leigh dreams of becoming a hero and living up to the Ravengale family name, and so he sets out from the village to join the Blades. As a Blade, Leigh is assigned a series of dangerous missions to destroy the Binding Stones, mysterious stone relics that give the Preithes army control over the Dreadbeasts, in a bid to finally turn the tides of the war and bring peace to the land.

However, in the course of his journey, Leigh will soon unravel the dark and tragic secrets behind the Blades and the war, lose the things he values most, and will in the end be forced to reconcile his desire for recognition with doing what he knows is right.

CHARACTERS

Spoiler

LEIGH RAVENGALE

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Age: 14

The protagonist of the story. Leigh comes from a long line of famous Blades. His parents died in battle when he was very young, and he was placed in the care of the village elder in Ashvale, their home town. Despite not having many memories of his parents, he still couldn't help but hear all about the Ravengale line's many legends, and feels pressured to live up to those stories. As a result he can often struggle with self-esteem.

FERN WISTMOORE

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Age: 16

A fellow Blade-in-training, she and Leigh became fast friends. Fern is large, loud, and heavy-hitting. However, she's got a heart of pure gold, and she values her friends far above anything else. She's also far more perceptive than most people give her credit for. She accompanies Leigh on missions.

FLINT STONEBROOK

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Age: 17

An extremely gifted battle mage, and the son of a Blade captain, Flint considers himself the elder of the group and the most capable. He can be cocky and overconfident despite his relatively small stature, and sometimes he can be very stubborn in his opinions, but usually his heart is in the right place. He is assigned to accompany Leigh and Fern on missions.

IIKO ALDERFOOT

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Age: 87

The Elder of Ashvale, Iiko Alderfoot took Leigh into her care and raised him after his parents died in battle. She is often a bit soft-spoken and very deliberate with her words. She holds a strong reverence for the natural beauty of the world, likes to see the good in things, and believes all people harbor kindness within them.
Despite her calm and caring demeanor, in truth Iiko was once a Blade. In those days she was deeply in love with another Blade, Sayha Nightsong, but after a series of events ending in Sayha tragically falling in battle Iiko deserted. Ever since, Iiko carries a severe distaste for them, and often tries to urge Leigh to stay away from that path.

COMBAT

Spoiler

Combat in Foxblade operates very much like a traditional turn-based JRPG, with a couple of notable mechanics:

AP SYSTEM

At the beginning of a battle encounter, every party member begins with 5 Action Points (AP). While choosing actions for a party member, you can input as many actions as you want, until that party member's AP is fully drained. Each action takes a different amount of AP - the rule of thumb is that basic attacks consume 1 AP, while magic and special attacks usually consume 2 or more.

At the end of each turn, every party member regenerates 1 AP. However, if a party member's AP reaches zero, that party member will enter the AP Charge state, which means the character cannot act until they have at least 1 AP. Note that even if AP reaches zero while deciding, you can still choose another action which will make that character's AP counter become negative. This will increase the number of turns the character must wait to act again - for example, if the character's AP becomes zero and you chain a spell which consumes 2 AP, the character's AP will be -2 and the character will be forced to wait three turns before they can act again. Draining AP past zero like this always ends that character's turn. Certain other things can also drain AP - for example, some enemy attacks are capable of draining party member AP, and can even wind up putting party members in AP charge or prolonging it if players are careless.

Additionally, there is one special action every character can take: Guard. It consumes 0 AP, but must be the character's only action on that turn (choosing Guard automatically ends that character's turn, and choosing any other action first prevents Guard from being selected). This allows characters to gain back lost AP.

This mechanic forces players to carefully balance between basic attacks to keep AP neutral, guarding to regain AP, and using more powerful skills or chaining many physical attacks at the expense of losing AP.

DAUNTING & STAGGER

During their adventures, Leigh & co. will sometimes encounter enemies with intimidating moves. These moves give them the Daunting buff. While Daunting, enemies become extra resistant to both physical and special damage. However, enemies with the Daunting buff also gain a stagger counter which can be charged by dealing damage - normal attacks charge the stagger counter by 1 point, and special attacks charge the stagger counter by 2 points.

Once the stagger counter has been charged enough, the enemy will be inflicted with the Stagger status effect. This stuns the enemy for 1-3 turns and also makes them extra weak to physical attacks (this can sometimes be a great opportunity to spend AP on a big attack chain!)

SOUNDTRACK

Spoiler

The soundtrack is meant to evoke the nostalgic retro feelings of an old-school PS1 or Saturn game. I've taken care to study musical devices and chord progressions used by games of the era, and I've also put a lot of work into making sure the instrumentation sounds suitably "retro" - all songs rely heavily on modern reproductions of popular 90s synths as the Korg M1, with a handful of effects to really drive the old school feeling home.

The soundtrack is obviously a WIP but I'll keep updating this list as I work on it.

 

DEMO VIDEOS (WIP)

Spoiler

(some UI may look a bit odd or oversized - the game runs at a very low resolution of 320x256 (to evoke the low resolutions of PS1 and Saturn games), and basically none of the built-in UI works at this resolution. I haven't finished patching everything yet, so some of them still look a little odd! bear with me, it's a WIP for a reason)

A demo video showcasing the battle system:

A video showcasing development of the first area of the game: Wispwood Ruins. Working on the overall look & feel of the area, and also its primary puzzle gimmick and also creating a workflow & approach for level design for the game in general.

 

Credit

For the most part, I am a solo developer on this project. I've thus far been handling all the scripting, UI design, mapping, concept art, portrait art, writing, game design, composing, sound design, etc. That said, the vast majority of the tileset art was done by [at] StR_Lite on Twitter. They're incredibly talented and I'm extremely grateful for the help!

I will be updating this thread as I work on the game, looking forward to sharing more progress with you!

Edited by GlaireDaggers

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