Design your own character to attend a magical school. Learn spells, brave the dungeons, and try to get a date for the May Day ball.

Report article RSS Feed The Purpose Of Magical Education

This isn't just a dating sim, of course, it's also about dungeons. You'll need to collect spells and think carefully about how to use them.

Posted by hanako on Oct 1st, 2010

Plot and plot and plot takes a lot of time to write! And of course we can't tell you yet about all the possible surprise encounters (but if you find a mysterious box, you may not want to know what's inside it...). So instead, let's talk about the purpose of Iris Academy - learning magic.

Professor Potsdam

There are two main professors you'll be interacting with. On first impressions, Professor Grabiner appears cruel and sarcastic, while Professor Potsdam seems creative and scatterbrained. They will instruct your characters in five categories of magic, broken down by color - red for force, blue for change, green for life, black for objects, and white for spirits. As your skills increase you will unlock new spells. Some require only one color of magic, others will need combinations.

Unlocking Spells

But what do you do with spells once you've learned them? Well, this is a school, so - you have exams! Every month at school ends with a dungeon challenge. You'll need to use the magic you've learned so far to complete your task and escape the dungeon. Every challenge has multiple solutions. If you succeed in a particularly impressive way, you might earn merit points. If you fail, you could get demerits, detention, or both.

Surprise! Dungeon!

The first test is short and simple, but they will get progressively more complicated as we move through the school year. The further into the year we get, the more possible variation there is in player stats. One character might have spent all her time studying Red magic and be really, really, really good at blowing things up... but not so good at anything else. It's not much fun if all challenges are easily defeated by blowing things up, but it's also not much fun if the Red specialist can't win any challenges at all. So there will need to be a lot of possible creative combinations of dungeon items and available spells.

The Spark spell can start a fire. That means you could use it to make heat, or smoke, or use up the air in a sealed container. So will that be useful in part of a challenge? Maybe! Other spells may be entirely useless and thrown in just for laughs - or are they? Working out all the spell interactions is a big task, but it should make the dungeon sections a lot of fun and extremely replayable.

In terms of general progress, we've been working with the engine lately to make the game screen freely resizable so that it can work with different screen sizes, including widescreen, and trying to do some general speed improvements. In the plot, we're now handling the Student Council Elections. You might be running for two different offices, or your roommate might be running, or you might be a simple observer - and even if you run, you're not guaranteed to win. But holding an office might give you a great opportunity to spend time with Professor Tall, Dark, and Snarky...

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Mischa_Silden
Mischa_Silden Oct 2 2010, 1:56am says:

Surprise dungeon xD Keep up the awesome work :)

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Omegakill
Omegakill Oct 2 2010, 6:41am says:

Just thinking that while this game seems cool and it would be fun to do this, what will happen after we've been through our final exam?

+1 vote     reply to comment
hanako
hanako Oct 2 2010, 2:28pm replied:

Current plans are that the game ends with the combination of the final exam and the end-of-year prom, and then you get a page from the school yearbook summing up your character, with probably some hints about your future career and that of your romantic partner / best friend, if you have one. I do not intend to write out all four years of high school for any one PC; instead I'll be looping back around to do the next set of characters.

There is a vague possibility that there will be a spinoff game which is JUST dungeon-crawling, and which you can import your characters into. I mean, if we've done all this engine work for the tests and it works well enough, why not build big random dungeons with it? So then in a way the base game could serve as training for more hardcore RPGing. But this is just a fun possibility we might like to do sometime, it's not currently planned for sure.

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Magical Diary
Platforms
Windows, Mac, Linux
Developer & Publisher
Hanako Games
Engine
Ren'py
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Official Page
Hanakogames.com
Release Date
Released Jun 19, 2011
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