This new Mac version updates Cypress to 0.9, with new features and improvements.
I'm working on a new fantasy adventure game called "The Testament of the White Cypress". Just as my previous game "2x0ng" was an expansion and re-envisioning of Xong, my new project is a "spiritual successor" to a previous game of mine called "Sanctuary", wherein a solitary monk travels through a post-apocalyptic wilderness in order to reach the great monastery known as Valisade. Like the original, gameplay in "Cypress" will involve ranged fighting with bow-and-arrow, NPC conversation and interaction, management of food and shelter, and several different magical powers. All objects and animations are painted with a mixed media approach, combining colored pencil and acrylic artist colors applied to heavy watercolor paper.
I'm pleased to announce that the new 0.9 alpha version of my hand-painted RPG "The Testament of the White Cypress" is now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. In this article I'll discuss what's new in this version, as well as give you a preview of what's coming next.
Version 0.9 of "Cypress" is an important milestone in development. While a few creatures and items do remain to be added, all the main gameplay elements are in place and working together for the first time as a coherent survival game. I've now begun implementing the main quest and fleshing out the storyline.
Travel through Ildran is now a bit more arduous. First of all, Geoffrey can now only travel to adjacent map squares, in the manner of a real quest. The world of Ildran is also now a bit colder in general; the player will have to build campfires more often in order to stay warm.
Travel is also more spatially coherent; Geoffrey now enters each map in a position according to the direction he was traveling.
There are several new places to visit, and new special items to find. The previously inaccessible mountain symbols on the map have now become ancient hewn caves. These will become an important part of the story once the Stone Monk is introduced.
Furthermore, when you find stairs in a ruined town, you can follow them into dark basements to find the corpses of former inhabitants, enemies, and items.
Geoffrey must also now cope with darkness. I've implemented OpenGL lighting with a real acrylic-painted texture and subtle flickering to suggest torch light. (In future versions, a low-MP-cost spell will be required to dispel darkness, but it's currently free.)
Weapons and armor are now featured for the first time, and Geoffrey might happen upon a Silver Bow, Silver Armor, or Silver Leggings. While in inventory these can be double-clicked in order to equip or unequip them.
To support the new equipment system, Geoffrey's abilities are now affected by three new statistics: Attack, Defense, and Resistance. When Defense is at +1, you do ten percent more damage; when Resistance is at +3, cold from the environment is reduced by 30%, and so on.
Now that there are more statistics to manage, you can right-click Geoffrey to see a status report on his health, hunger, cold, equipment, and any active spells or stat effects. Geoffrey will also now notify the player with a text balloon when he becomes colder or hungrier.
Grave hags now leave broken green corpses, and these are good sources of bone dust. And speaking of corpses, a new spell called "Seance" allows limited communication with the spirit of a human skull, provided you have a few magic points and a forget-me-not flower. As the game develops, skulls will become an important source of Lore and side quests, as it will become necessary to locate a particular grave and conduct seances with that person.
Not all the changes in Cypress 0.9 are so morbid. The friendly AI monk "Lucius" is back! He can be found collecting flowers in the meadow where the game starts, and he'll talk about various topics if you double-click him. He is an important source of information, and his role will expand a bit for the next version of the game. (Lucius will be a playable party member in Episode 2! But I'm jumping ahead of the story.)
What's next for Cypress? I'll be expanding the story and quest structure significantly for version 0.95, weaving together story and gameplay as I approach the final product. In the meantime, I'll be doing test releases and gathering more feedback from users as I fine-tune the gameplay and tighten things up.
I'll keep you posted here on IndieDB!