An ambitious young Guild Master travels the dying sky islands of Medonia to uncover a way to save his once utopian homeland, but can he accept the shocking truth that awaits him? Your own airship, innovative turn-based combat, and more await you in this love letter to JRPG classics!
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May 4

Soul Saga – Update 35 – Beta update and Discord

Hello, Friend!
How have you been?  I'm sorry for the delay in an official update, but I had to deal with an unexpected move last month.  Thankfully I'm all settled into the new space now and my focus is back on Soul Saga!




New Teammate!
Oh, and please say hello to my new teammate, Senpai the Shiba Inu!



Senpai and Phoebe love to hate each other, but I sometimes glimpse a hint of love inside small moments.



Even though the last few months have been very busy, I still got a ton of work done on Soul Saga!  Most of what I do can't be revealed due to them being major spoilers, but here's some of what I've gotten done in the beta...

Beta v11.1
Soul Saga's beta has been updated to version 11.1.  Version 11.1 of the Soul Saga beta brings with it several graphical enhancements in different environments and cutscenes as well as all the following changes.  If you have purchased the Soul Saga beta, you can now download it from your Humble Bundle library for Windows, Mac, and Linux.  Please report any bugs to one of the following locations:

Easy Bug Reporting Form

Advanced Bug Reporting Database
Discord Live Chat


The Disastercake community is a very active, mature, and friendly group of people that I have been honored to be surrounded by since I had my Kickstarter.  In an attempt to connect with fans even more I created a Discord server a few weeks ago that has gone very well!  Discord can be ran from the browser, desktop installation, or mobile devices.

I also whipped us up some custom emojis for you to play with!  You might recognize the adorable Torne, unique Grumplins, the cutest cupcakes you've every seen, and Mithos!  I'll try to find time to add some more later on!



When you join the Disastercake Discord server, please message me on Kickstarter or send me an e-mail with your account name and I'll set you up with a backer role to give your name some flair!

You can join us on the Discord server here: https://discord.gg/k5PW5aZ

Loading Enhancements
In Soul Saga your teammates follow you directly on the map while exploring.  This follow the leader type attitude makes exploring feel less lonely and the world more alive.  It does come with technical complications, though!  One of the issues I ran into was loading the characters in the map.  In some previous iterations of Soul Saga there were no teammates following, so I had designed the levels to have only a single spawn point.  Rather than go through and add more spawn points for additional team members, I decided that a more versatile way would be to have them load in as the player moves their main character away from the original spawn point.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5yeNwqWk-0

NPC Enhancements
In Soul Saga there are many NPCs, including various animals!  Here's a glance at how I work with a visual graph tool to create the roaming intelligence of the Squabble NPCs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jwMgVN4Rj4

Behind the Scenes
A question that was asked in Discord was what exactly a "scene" is in terms of working with game development.  A scene is a single loaded area.  In Soul Saga, dungeons are made up of several smaller (sometimes medium sized) scenes.  The reason they are cut into smaller segments is for performance reasons.  Here you can see what a scene looks like from the game view and then from the editor view where I work on it.  The scene is created in a way that the part gamers see gives them the belief the world is large and seamless, but in actuality it is decoupled and smaller so performance can be tight.

Game View


 
Scene View

 
Overworld vs Explorable paths
In Soul Saga, the land of Medonia has been shattered into small islands.  Because of this, most major traveling between islands is done via airship.  However each major island has several points of interest on it.  For a while, I had been using a classic looking overworld map to represent walking around the islands.  However after consideration, I recently made a tweet gauging what Soul Saga fans think about possibly replacing the overworld with explorable paths.



Explorable Path Prototype
The results were pretty split, so I went about prototyping the connecting roads to get more accurate feedback.  What I came up with was met with overall very positive feedback.  Personally I feel these explorable areas are much better at adding personality to the islands.  In time I will add more content to them as well, like sidequests, treasures, and secret areas, though their primary purpose is to connect the major points of interest on an island.  Here is a video of the comparison:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV6ckKP4-NI

Steam Greenlight to be Cancelled


Important news for the Steam gaming community is that Steam Greenlight will be cancelled in the foreseeable future.  Soul Saga already flew through Steam Greenlight thanks to many fans' help, so this news does not affect Soul Saga in any way.  However it is interesting to know the reasons behind Valve's decision to do this as it reflects how the market has become so saturated that gamers require new technologies to get relevant games in front of them.  I have written up my thoughts based on my experiences as a developer and wrote an article for you here: http://www.disastercake.com/blog/steam-removing-greenlight-indie-developers-interpretation/

What do you think?
Your feedback has shaped Soul Saga into the beautiful game it's becoming, so please keep it coming!  Let me know what you think by commenting below or joining us all in the Disastercake Discord.  You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date on more frequent news.

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February 3

Soul Saga – Update 34 – Soul Saga will be on GOG!

Happy New Year, Friend!
Hello and happy new year, friend! I hope this first month of 2017 has treated you well.  Personally I've just had my head buried deep in my work with Soul Saga to make sure I can finally bring it to you this year!

Development
Development with Soul Saga is going well.  Before the end of last year I had a draft of the main story loop implemented, but now I am going back and reworking quite a bit of it.  Perfectionism has taken a toll on Soul Saga's timeline, and I am sincerely sorry for that.  I really wanted to launch last year, but I knew more polish was necessary to get you the game you deserve.  However this will be the last major pass I do on the main storyline implementation, and after that I will work on the side content before shipping Soul Saga off to you.  As an estimate I would say later in 2017 is a reasonable time frame for the remaining polish and content I want to add, which is really just a fraction of what I've already put into Soul Saga over these years.  However, I always put quality before anything else, so please hold on with me while I finish scaling this mountain called "Game Development" the way it was meant to be climbed.

An Insider Look
A lot of people have asked me to film my work space to see a normal day in the life of a Disastercake, so here's a sneak peek of how Soul Saga's levels are designed.

https://twitter.com/disastercake/status/826952214392381444

Soul Saga on GOG!
Since the Kickstarter launched years ago, many Soul Saga fans have eagerly asked me to look into getting Soul Saga on http://GOG.com.  If you don't already know: GOG is a DRM-Free game distributor with a strong reputation.  I'm excited to be able to tell you that I sent the beta to GOG for review, and they were equally as excited as I was to be able to add Soul Saga to their impressive library of games!

If you would like to get a GOG key instead of whatever key you currently are signed up for (console, Humble Bundle, Steam, etc), please private message me on Kickstarter (if a backer) or e-mail me at mike@disastercake.com and I can assist in switching your current key to a GOG key.

You can find the Soul Saga page on GOG.com here: https://www.gog.com/game/soul_saga (Add it to your wishlist, JRPG GOG fans!)

https://twitter.com/disastercake/status/821474482262921216

Soul Saga Beta - Fan Videos
Soul Saga fans and beta backers have kindly created some more videos for your enjoyment showcasing the current state of Soul Saga's beta.  Feedback has been great so far, and I'm eagerly anticipating the moment I can finish up polishing based on all of the great fan feedback.

Airships
lordreo22 (Roy) is back again after last updates Amber Synthesizing video, this time to highlight airship exploration and airship combat in Soul Saga.  He does a great job showing off the different features currently in the beta, and even gives you a video of how it can be played with a dual stick controller.

Please note that the way you acquire the airship in the beta is very simple, but there will be a quest line and story involving it in the finished game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWC5hF4IDZg

Full Beta Playthrough
KomaruTheHylian64 is a Soul Saga beta backer and fan that has kindly recorded the entirety of the Soul Saga beta for you.

THIS VIDEO CONTAINS SPOILERS!  Though the beta is not 100% polished yet, this video does contain what I would consider minor story spoilers for the first 1-2 hours of Soul Saga.  If you'd like to keep your experience as fresh as possible for the full release, then you may not want to watch the video through completion.

This video is of beta v10, and the current version is v10.1  A couple bugs pop up later in the video that I've already addressed and fixed in beta version v10.1.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUn2KX-bppQ

What do you think?
Thank you so much for all of your support.  Every day I talk with Soul Saga fans, and the encouraging words have kept me motivated on this long journey.  I can't wait to finally finish Soul Saga and share my humble JRPG with you.  In the meantime, you can hit me up on Twitter at @Disastercake, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/disastercake, or below in the comments here!

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About This Game

About

Soul Saga is a love letter to JRPG classics, and the comfort food of JRPG fans. Utilizing the classic JRPG formula as a base, Soul Saga is the culmination of 3 years of prototyping and testing of new elements by a single full-time developer and thousands of passionate fans. In addition, many artists around the world have contributed to Soul Saga to help give it the well rounded and polished art such a game deserves. With over an hour of original music tailored specifically for JRPG fans, Soul Saga is both a fun and artistic journey through a familiar, yet fresh, world.

Story


Oterra was a once lush and vibrant world, but it’s surface is now wasted after the events of an ancient cataclysm. The planet is now split into 3 distinguishable layers: the Sky Islands of Medonia, the Tempest Reef, and the Surface World of Oterra.



This cataclysm was caused by a mysterious corruption called Ink that mutated the world’s creatures into monsters called Inkheart. The Inkheart ravaged society and mercilessly destroyed civilizations as they spread across Oterra. The last haven for humanity, Medonia, was saved by a mysterious man called the Philosopher. The Philosopher introduced the science of Alchemy to Medonia’s people and they took up arms using their new Alchemical powers, but it was too late. The Dragons of Oterra had succumbed to the Ink corruption and joined the assault against Medonia. As a last effort, the Philosopher used his powers to raise Medonia off of the planet and into the sky, setting it safely on the clouds above and out of the reach of the indomitable Inkheart.



And now... 300 years after it’s conception, the Tempest Reef is weakening, the Islands of Medonia are dying and falling from the sky, and an omen of catastrophic proportions has appeared. There are rumors of a passage called Cloud’s End that will allow a ship passage through the Tempest Reef to the surface world below. It's assumed that one man found this passage, but left no trace of its existence behind. The Guilds of Medonia now search for Cloud’s End in hope to find a cure for their dying islands somewhere on the surface of Oterra.



Armed with alchemy and a mysterious sword, an ambitious young Guild Master travels the sky islands of Medonia in his new airship to uncover a way to save his homeland, but is he ready for the truth?

Help Mithos and Elise fight against the impending menace threatening the sky islands of Medonia with their guild of close friends and unlikely allies. Your own airship, classic turn-based combat, real-time airship combat, crafting, and more await you in Soul Saga!

Features


Meaningful difficulty modes! Choose from either Cake, Vanille, or Jacked difficulty modes to match your play style and skill level! Soul Saga's different difficulty modes go beyond the standard increased health and damage to also add new skills and intelligent decision patterns to many enemies!

Innovative Strategic Combat! Soul Saga's combat system first found inspiration from turn-based JRPG classics then evolved into its own unique system by allowing the player to choose exactly when they take their turn. In addition, every turn has a special buff or debuff granted to the person acting. By accumulating action points by either delaying turns or taking certain actions, you can control the flow of battle with well calculated strategies!

Customize your skills! Utilizing the amber system, you can equip your characters with different ambers to enable them access to new skills!

Synthesize magical amber! Collect and harvest almost any item from the world to craft amber! Utilize Soul Saga's unique and experimentive alchemy crafting system to synthesize the purist amber possible by matching any combination of items to it's alchemental formula. The closer you are to the base formula, the higher quality amber you'll produce. Don't know a formula? Just deconstruct an existing amber to learn its secrets!

Transmute stronger weapons! Upgrade your weapon to unlock new slots, then transmute special items that can customize the stats of your weapon!

Airship Exploration and Wonders! Free roaming airship exploration gives you the power to explore every nook and cranny of this vast world to uncover all of Medonia's natural and historical wonders!

Real-Time Airship Combat! You're not alone in the skies, and your neighbors don't like to share their space! Use your airship to wrest the skies from your airborne opponents and claim the treasure and glory you deserve!

Cook Yummy Lunches! Soul Saga's unique lunchbox system adds a desperately needed balance to the classic JRPG formula by allowing you more options to strategize in and out of combat! Lunches are utilized to heal, strengthen, deal damage, escape from combat, and more!

An Epic Saga! An epic story involving sky islands, airships, Guilds, alchemical magics, interesting NPCs, deep lore, and heart-moving character developments.

Development History

Soul Saga was the first 3D JRPG launched on Kickstarter and gained immediate praise from new fans reaching over 300% of the original funding goal! The new budget allowed Soul Saga to enhance its art style and gameplay based on fan feedback, but was still too small to finance a large dev team. I then dedicated the next 3 years of my life working on Soul Saga as the only full time developer to bring you the best game I could. I sincerely hope that you enjoy my humble love letter to JRPG classics and that it can bring just a fraction of the irreplaceable joy we all experienced from the great games that inspired it.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP or later
    • Processor: 2 Ghz single core or faster processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel Integrated Graphics
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Keyboard and Mouse
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP or later
    • Processor: 1.4 Ghz multi core or faster processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1GB VRAM Dedicated Graphics card
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Keyboard and Mouse
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.7 or later
    • Processor: 2 Ghz single core or faster processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1GB VRAM Dedicated Graphics card
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Keyboard and Mouse
    Recommended:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.7 or later
    • Processor: 1.4 Ghz multi core or faster processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1GB VRAM Dedicated Graphics card
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Keyboard and Mouse
    Minimum:
    • OS: SteamOS+, Ubuntu 12.04 or later
    • Processor: 2 Ghz single core or faster processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1GB VRAM Dedicated Graphics card
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Keyboard and Mouse
    Recommended:
    • OS: SteamOS+, Ubuntu 12.04 or later
    • Processor: 1.4 Ghz multi core or faster processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1GB VRAM Dedicated Graphics card
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Keyboard and Mouse

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