I've got some more screenshots for you today, one of which has been seen before by careful modDB forum browsers, the other of which is brand spanking new. In any case, these where designed to showcase how some of the predesigned levels will look, this week specifically those in forest realms. If you haven't dropped by in the forums, to clarify this, most of the game's forests, grasslands, etc. will by pseudo-randomly generated through a complex algorithm that ensures that you'll never play the same game twice, but also that the layout's make sense. The rest of the game will be predesigned, to ensure top-notch quality in important quest areas, etc.
Just to clarify, all the sprites (including the shaded trees) in those shots are pixel art made in MSPaint by me, without the use of any complex program. Yes, I had to boast about that XD
In terms of non-graphical progress, this weekend hasn't been very successful, as I'm stumbling over some relatively simple issues. I'll probably take a break until Christmas is over, and then I'll resume the actual programming portions of the game. In the mean time, I have a bit of designing to accomplish, as well as some recruiting to do. If you are interested in programming (particularly making a map editor program, or designing netcode architecture), composing music, or drawing either concept art or actual in-game media, please contact me.
I've decided a few things in terms of gameplay mechanics. First, as a tribute to old-school RPGs, there will be turn-based combat in Maerchen. Modern gamers, do not worry. All minor to mid-range battles will be real time, much like action RPGs, while the highest-level boss battles will open up a turn-based menu through which you must carefully plan your every strike. Secondly, I've come up with an awesome ability that may be the characteristic that will set Maerchen apart from other RPG's. One of your character's main abilities is the ability to conjure any object from the game, and place it anywhere. Think of it as a 2d gravity, except rather than picking up an object, you conjure it instead. Of course, your choices will be dependent on your level, so you cannot conjure a mansion on top a horde of baddies if you are level 2. Still, it will be a crucial and integral element of the gameplay, and the solving of many quest puzzles will require it. For example, some quests might involve crossing a crevice in the crusts of the underworld, but there is no bridge, and any attempt to jump it would probably result in a fiery death. So, you conjure a bridge! Also, you could use this to design your very own piece of land. It could very easily become an in-game level editor.
Anyway, I've got a little surprise for you guys pretty soon, so keep your eyes peeled.