Our experiments are never meant to be innovative just for the sake of innovation. We try to achieve the best results in telling our story and if we need to do it with some tools that are unusual in the world of Visual Novels, we take the risk to at least test them.
One of the tools that we decided to introduce was the map of Windy Meadow which, aside of being a cool picture telling you some details about the game’s world, was also important to sort out some information and make the game more accessible.
Map is available for 95% of the time, but never in its raw form. Whenever you press the map button, you show a red marking pointing out where your character currently is:
The current markings are going to be re-drawn to be prettier and less “mechanical” and we’re still thinking about adding appropriate names describing each area, but it’s still a work in progress.
There is a couple of reasons why it’s important for us to include this feature. Since the game is set in a fantasy realm, it’s easy to confuse the player. how do these places look like, how far away are they from each other, how big is the village itself?... And since the characters walk around quite a lot, it’s important to keep it clear and easy to follow.
It would be impossible to illustrate these details only through in-game backgrounds, while pushing all this to dialogues would be both boring and, in result, easy to forget. Being able to keep up and remind yourself where is what with a single button makes it way more convenient.
Wanting to avoid confusion also forced us to include the “day” counter next to the map button. As you may remember, Tales From Windy Meadow stars three protagonists with separate plotlines. Each one of these routes occurs during the days 1-4, and after finishing all of them, you begin the day 5 which combines them and concludes them.
Making it clear was very important for the story. Sure, our game shouldn’t be extremely obvious and explain all of its meanings, but it also shouldn’t require from player deciphering what, where and when is going on.
We have a difficult week ahead of us, but in the meantime I wanted to invite you to our refreshed website. We updated our FAQ and, from now on, it's easier to figure out that the short character descriptions actually include much larger stories in them. : )