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As the story elements of Sir Leon are well underway, we have begun to piece together the many systems that will be available to the player in the game.

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Hey! I'd like to take this post to not only discuss some of the gameplay features of Sir Leon, but to formally introduce the project itself. The Tale of Sir Leon, is an attempt at creating a narrative driven RPG that doesn't require flashy visuals and a score of unique concepts to make it shine. Our goal to provide the classic medieval fantasy (what some consider overused, or cliche) with deep characterization and decision-based story progression. The mantra of Sir Leon is more with less. The game is all about bringing you a depth of content and entertainment, not just a visual stimulus of eye candy (which is good, but it isn't the only factor we believe should be considered).

Not only is the game a fresh look at a classic theme, but it incorperates a lot of themes present in our everyday life. Situational humor, philosophy, and even political satire all make their appearances in Sir Leon. On top of its narrative approach we took a leap of faith in designing it to be a traditional turn-based RPG set in an open world. The combat, however, is nothing short of the classic feel we are trying to acheive. Within all this, we are implementing many modern systems that pay homage to the RPGs of today. So let's dive in to some of the major features!

Character Progression with Perks. Along side the traditional method of acquiring certain skills at new levels, Sir Leon will feature a perk system similair to that of games like Fallout 3. Each time a character gains two levels they are given access to a list of perks. Every two levels these perks are confined to passive stat controlling upgrades, whilst every fourth level gives the player access to skill oriented perks. These skill oriented perks can include new weapon proficiencies, unique skills or spells, and even access to interesting game mechanics. The perk system allows the player to add a little depth to how each combat character plays within the game. It is highly responsive to your previous decisions and allows you take your character development down a set of defined paths, almost like talent trees.

The Estate System. After a minor portion of introductory story and some decision making, the player will gain access to Sir Leon's newly acquired estate. This large house not only accomodates the members of your party, but it also grants you access to non-combat members' benefits. By interacting with the various characters you can gain insight into their pasts, have them craft you powerful items, play min-gmaes with them, and even in some cases - pursue romantic encounters with them.

From the estate you can also manage your Vault. The Vault is a repository for all the items you can't carry, or wish to save for a later date. The Vault is also the place where all your Resources(consumable items used in crafting) are stored by default. The Vault aims to keep cumbersome inventory screens in check, and also provide a worldly element to the things you collect.

The estate is also a way to make money! The player is given a small degree of control over the economics of his estate. You can choose to farm your land, produce goods, or tend animals. All of these methods garner wages to your estate. The key to successful estate management lies in your use of serfs(or slaves) wisely in order maximize your profits!

Location-Based Reputation. We're sick of seeing games where the player is either good or evil as defined by some arbitrary stat or visual cue. In Sir Leon, your impact on society isn't based on your overal moral identity, but the actual people you affect directly. The citizens of Hamptonshire love you because you've recently slayed a group of rabblerousers just outside the town walls. However good this may be, the folks in Brookmoor 100 miles away won't even recognize you on your first trip to town. Sure you're a good-natured character, but we don't feel a stat covers that, let alone every NPC in the game judging you off some general stat that applies to everything you ever done - whether or not they know about it. Simply put, it's a simple way of keeping characterization without defiling the world's reaction to it.

Challenges. In addition to the normal flow of the game, Sir Leon comes incorperated with a deep achievement system. It dynamically tracks everything you do and grants rewards for achieving milestones within the game. Things as simple as walking 100 miles confer interesting and unique rewards seperate from their Challenge Point conferment. Collecting a certain amount of some hidden item will reward you with profitable benefits, rather than just a silly number and a token of appreciation. We want this system to stimulate the time spent exploring our world and discovering the possibilities of the game. It's easy to breeze through the main quest, but we feel Sir Leon has much more to offer than that.

That's all we will cover for now. In the coming days I want to discuss more on combat, skills, and equipment, as well as introducing some more of the characters and story to you guys! So long for now, and stay tuned!

Michael DeLally
Lead Designer, The Tale of Sir Leon

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