Rise of the Demon is the first chapter of a 'storyline' game series that spans 3 chapters titled: Valcarta. The Valcarta series will be built on a premise of heavy storytelling in a multi-path fashion. The Valcarta Series has its story told by two separate vantage points; one from Valak walking the Path of Darkness and one from Valak walking the Path of Light. Both vantage points take place along the exact same place in time and space, but naturally Valak encounters different allies, learns new abilities, encounters different enemies and overall has an entirely different experience. Valcarta: Rise of the Demon is essentially two RPGs with storyline, combat & character development wrapped into one package.
Valak, a young man without family to speak of and a blurry past. He has spent most of his 'youth' in the central province of Drachell, working as the 'protector' of a small town. At the beginning of the game, Valak must make a choice that will change not just his fate but also the fate of Drachell and Valcarta. Drachell is in a rising state of turmoil that our hero, Valak, is unaware of due to where he lives within the province. When the time comes, he is thrust into a situation that forces him to choose a side, which sets him on a path for the rest of the game.
The time for the Cleansing Ritual has come! The Elemental Lords Crystals shall be gathered and brought forth to the Ritual Caverns so that the Fay Shield that surrounds Drachell may be renewed! Perhaps it is time for change though as both the Sleemon Empire and the Brotherhood of Twilight, who are locked in a state of unrest, are stirring to contest each others movements towards these Crystals.
The Sleemon Empire has a strong foothold within the province of Drachell and is working vigorously to develop its military strength so that it may win the war that is waging on the fields of Illymader and Fayvale, two provinces to the West of Drachell. They care little for the non-human natives of Drachell, although not many people are aware of that and live peacefully within their small farming villages or within the Castle Town of Sleemonburg itself. Perhaps the Empire isn't as noble as it claims to be to all its citizens? Perhaps the Empire wants these Crystals for some other reason?
The Brotherhood of Twilight is the force that wishes to stop the Empire from continuing its mistreatment of the provinces inhabitants, or at least that's what they say. Small camps are popping up all over Drachell under the Brotherhoods flag. Their leader, Astrid, has never shown her true self, but claims she is a Guardian Spirit to the Elemental Lord of Darkness, Synkale. Perhaps this Astrid has more to her than she is letting on? Perhaps the Brotherhoods goals are a little... deeper than she claims?
I'm very excited to final announce that Valcarta: Rise of the Demon will be released on Steam July 8th.
Its been a long time since its been greenlit, because I wasn't comfortable releasing the game I had made vs. the game I could make. I took the time, revamped it entirely. Those who played the original will see some resemblance of the old game within, but not too much.
Gameplay Changes to Valcarta:
Rise of the Demon are massive and went through several revisions. Original, it was basic turn-based combat where the characters have several skills to work from, but you could get away with just smashing your most powerful skills without much thinking. There were a boat load of random encounters and an overall grindy feel to the game. Not good. I'll outline some of the big changes in this post.
I have designed a Action Turn-Based System that was, originally, meant to emulate something akin to Legend of Zelda, where you want to BLOCK incoming attacks, because it would remove a good portion of your HP. As development progressed, I found that becoming a little too stale and repetitive as you moved through the game, so only the first 1/4 or so requires precision blocking, because at least one of your party members will learn how to mitigate damage for the team.
Careful planning of resources, resource regeneration, damage output, status effects and defenses will all take a part in how successful you are. Some encounter expect a loose x,y,z out of the players in order to meet the criteria for success or failure. Other encounters require more healing, or more damage or something different every time. Each scripted encounter (Boss Fight more so) is unique, not only to each path, but in terms of mechanics.The combat, overall, is a lot more fast-paced, which brings in its own set of difficulty for each individual user.
General Combat Presence:
Valcarta: Rise of the Demon, as originally states had a more grindy feel, where you would find yourself, on occasion, taking a couple of steps and running into a new random encounter. That wasn't fun for anyone and became increasingly annoying if you intended on playing for longer periods of time.
There has been a massive shift away from general combat and more of a shift to scripted encounters. While there are still random encounters in dungeon areas, they are vastly less of them by comparison.
One of the biggest bits of feedback I had from the original version of Valcarta: Rise of Demon was the writing. Users felt that I had left too much to the imagination and would have preferred if more things were more fleshed out or clearly defined overall. So, for the most part, I've done just that.
The Story, while remaining the same, has been vastly re-written. Goals and objectives are more clear from a story progression stand point, while keeping small points of mystery intact.
There are now 'cut-scenes', there you break from the action and watch as characters are present on-screen while they are talking. These occur at almost every story hub and point that multiple people have more than just 1-3 lines. I feel that this adds a lot to the game and gives the characters more personality overall.
Through the re-writing of the games storyline came alterations to the characters themselves. While their overlaying story is roughly the same, people who have played the Path of Light will notice a major difference in Carter. All characters (there is even a new character on the Path of Darkness) have had their stories improved, clarified and overall just more clear.
Character stories, while not always prevalent during the main story, can be fleshed out by users by seeking out their end-game side-quests. These go into a bit more details about your traveling companions and provide a nice new set of equipment for them. If you are feeling really adventurous and up to a challenge, you can attempt to further this line of development by finding their secret MEGA BOSS encounters. These are the most deadly monsters in the game, designed to challenge each group of characters to the extreme.
Remember, Normal - Full is the baseline for the games balance. Hard - Full may, in fact, be unbeatable (I haven't tried it yet). I deemed it more important to provide a more general level of difficulty to a wider user base with the option to challenge yourself rather than fine tune each individual game mode. If you are curious what changes, you can ask in the General Discussion section of the community hub :)
Valcarta: Rise of the Demon had almost all of its map entirely remade and several new areas made. There are currently almost 300 maps within the game, including towns, dungeons, houses, tents, etc. Within some of these dungeon maps you will find mechanics. Perhaps its breathing underwater, or running from a swarm of spiders, or burning/choping plants before they eat you. In others, you will find puzzles, which are set up to impede your progress or test you in some way (those pesky Shaman Clans don't like people who can't do puzzles apparently ;)). Moving rocks to make a path, sliding across ice, creating bridges with ice shards, dodge rolling snowballs, and much more!
I hope the addition of these elements engage and interest users while providing a bit of action outside of combat.
I hope there are some out there who have remained curious about the game after its greenlit status had been hit. I know there were plenty of original versions acquired from sales on sites like Shiny Loot, etc. I hope that we can transition that interest generated from the older version to the newer, improved version of the game.
Rise of the Demon is the first chapter of a 'storyline' game series that spans 5 chapters titled: Valcarta.
Valcarta was released on 1-15-13, you can pick it up on www.blackswordgames.com
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