Anamnesis, of Renascents and Monsters,

A text-based simulation and role playing game of exploration, warfare, intrigue and romance in a low fantasy, early 20th century environment.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Cost of Espionage

Spying on aristocrats was pretty much a free lunch. As soon as you started meeting aristocrats you ended up spying on them all the time just because you could. Furthermore, a significant portion of them were pretty easy targets.

In order to fix this, I made them a little harder to spy on average and put a flat cost on the act of Investigating/Stalking a target, much like the one of visiting territories you don't own but more expensive. In this way, you are to spend 0.2 Merit to spy on a target or, if you have no Merits, you'll get an increase of 10 in the Local Tension. After all you'd be a meritless scoundrel, surely up to no good.

Other than that, testing goes on. All new systems seem to work more or less as expected without bugs so far. I enjoyed baiting Rhodeghass into wrecking an aristocrat's assets in order to buy his land myself and getting aristocrats of enemy lobbies involved in alcohol smuggling operations to destroy their reputations and damage their lobbies.


As for available time for Anamnesis, July is turning out to be a busy month (I'm also a volunteer firefighter during summer, heat waves and whatnot) but August or September might see an Anamnesis release if everything goes well.
  

Friday, June 19, 2015

Convertible Renascents

I think someone requested this in the past, but it was a long time ago and I can't be bothered to check it out. However it might be, I decided to change a few things concerning captive renascents after a more or less lengthy testing playthrough.

First of all, stalwart renascents can be approached when an influenced player captures them, which was impossible until now. I just don't know how this bug slipped under the radar for so long.

Second of all, befriending any renascent you capture and decide to keep will no longer work against the Local Tension. When these renascents are working on a project, they won't have their stats reduced by half either.

And finally, befriended renascents can now fight for your cause and aid you in your questzzs. You'll probably be better off not sending them to fight alone though, because after their rebirth they'll forget all about your friendship and become enemies again.


Converting renascents might or might not be related to that new game mode I've been considering as of late. I haven't really decided yet.
 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Accessibility

I have started testing the game using the new version of Ren'Py. The next version of Anamnesis will finally be accessible to the visually impaired thanks to the new self-voicing feature of the engine. Pressing the "v" key will activate this mode, while pressing the up and down cursors will select and read the different buttons and objects on the screen.

I take no credit for this since I merely conveyed some information. It was a player that looked for an open-source library and the author of Ren'Py that did the coding, but I'm glad it's done.


In other news, the espionage flavouring is done, so hurray for that too. Now it's time to start the long testing and proofreading process. The events of some lobbies are still missing, but the sooner the proofreading starts, the sooner the release will be ready.

As for the dilemma in the previous post, I'm currently strongly leaning towards making an entirely different game mode inside Anamnesis, but not in this release and probably not the following one either. A comment in that post also got me pondering about ways in which players could expand the content of the game without their work becoming outdated over time, but it's a complicated issue, so no promises there.
 

Monday, May 18, 2015

On Feeling Like Doing Something Different

The illustration I mentioned in the previous post is done and it actually won one of two prizes available in the contest, making me a profit of a whooping 72,85€ after subtracting the costs of the materials.


Anyway, there are some things I've been considering. You've given me some valuable insights in the past, so I'd like to share another question with you and see what you think.

For a while I've been in some sort of system-building mood rather than a content-writing one. This has been having a small effect on performance, but more importantly it's proving to be a lot of wasted potential since Anamnesis at this point requires a lot of content before new systems can be developed. I'm presently stuck with all this content writing because I just wanted to add this one more system, after all.

I don't want to drop Anamnesis because I like it and I'll feel like making new content in the future again, but I believe it'd be more efficient to have an option to properly focus the system-building energy. This is probably going to happen in the short to mid term, but I haven't made up my mind on the best way to do it.

The first option would be to make a new game with a much greater focus on procedural generation. In many ways it'd still be similar to Anamnesis, still trying to feel like a pen-and-paper rpg, but of a different nature and a less developed setting.

The second option would be to do practically the same thing, but inside Anamnesis. It could involve fleshing out other alternative eras not just as the same game with slightly adjusted mechanics and different flavour, but basically as different games. Players would be able to choose which kind of eras they want to play or just leave it to chance. Perhaps instead of different eras these games within the game could simply involve optional trips into the mainland, the outer lands, or the fey worlds. I haven't made up my mind but there are plenty of ways to stitch everything together.

This is not something I'm going to start right away because the whole thing would require more planning and I'm not precisely swimming on free time, but for now I'd appreciate it if you let me know what you think of the whole thing.
 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Best and Worst Stats

Right now I'm prioritizing an illustration I'm submitting to a contest in order to probe my capacity to actually make at least some side money as an illustrator, so these last few days Anamnesis has been rather neglected. It's a long story but I've also reluctantly become a bunny owner, so there's also that.


Anyway, I went ahead and, as requested in the comments on the last post, slightly expanded character creation by allowing you to choose which stat of your character will tend to go up and which one will tend to go down. Your best stat will increase slightly more often and decrease slightly less often, your worst stat will do the opposite.

I decided to do things this way because a simple one time boost at the beginning of the game would probably become diluted a few turns into the game. You will be able to choose either one of the four basic stats, (Resistance, Mobility, Intelligence and Terror) or one of them at random.

For kicks, and a little added challenge, you will also be to choose to be good at no stat and be bad at all of them.
 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

History and State of Telecommunications In The Steppes

The most rudimentary form of telecommunication to be found in The Steppes was the ordinary mail developed in a largely military fashion in order to coordinate the many tenant farmers on the public stallian crops and the stallian army. This ruthlessly efficient military mail service was much later exported to Tershelle-Val and is still maintained with typically stallian punctuality. Despite how seriously stallians take their mail and parcel delivery deadlines, other cities have never adopted this model, instead allowing civilian corporations to take over the endeavours.

The development of communications at a distance halted to a stop for many years after the establishment of the stallian mail service. Citizens of Arrakans have always appeared to have their communication needs covered with vigorous shouting and yelling, so there was zero development on their part.

It wasn't until the construction of the veshite-stallian railway that necessity pushed thinking heads to develop faster wire communications. The telegraph appears to have been conceived by observing "patterns in pulses of energy" inside barely functional saurian era machinery. The first telegraph was deployed along the railway as a way to convey quick information between Stallia and the different garrisons along the line concerning the construction's progress and above all enemy raids and attacks, shortening the different garrisons' reaction time.

It was later in Ill-Vess that the telephone was developed. For many years, Ill-Vess stood almost alone in the use of telephones while Stallia and Arrakans lagged behind. The city's response was the creation of the Veshite Telephone Company in order to lobby for the advancement of telecommunications all over The Steppes. The company has ever since diversified to adapt to newer forms of communications and their laboratories have been the driving force behind many innovations in the field. They are estimated to have built almost 80% of all telecom networks.

The latest development on the field was the wireless radio. Over the last few years the Veshite Telephone Company's laboratories have been refining and improving on their original designs to such an extent as to allow the implantation of relatively small transceivers not only on ships but also land vehicles and even planes or some unfortunate grunt's backpack. While originally conceived for military uses, forward-looking veshite and nivharian media tycoons were quick to seize this new invention and turn it into a mass phenomenon.

The nivharian case was especially dramatic, with hundreds of radio stations, some no bigger than a teenager's bedroom, sprouting like mushrooms, altering the city's profile with countless antennae and radio towers. The increasing number and power of receivers had however an unaccounted effect, showing all of The Steppes to be showered in radio waves emanating from nearby celestial objects, specially what has been deduced to be artificial satellites in low orbit, likely of saurian origin. These transmissions seem to consist almost exclusively of noise, but sometimes patterns can be recognized in them. Amateurs and laboratories all over the place have been trying to decipher these transmissions ever since without any proven success.

The Veshite Telephone Company is of course leading all the efforts and has in fact undertaken the self-imposed challenge of communicating with the sources of these transmissions. For this purpose the company has been developing new technologies outside the telecommunications market strictly speaking. For example, the use of radio waves to detect objects at a distance seems to be undergoing testing stages and is widely believed to have already been employed for military purposes and even to aid in the location of these orbiting bodies.