What's Alcarys Complex?
Alcarys Complex is an action-RPG developed in Game Maker 8/8.1 Pro. Myself and a few other people
have been working since August 2006 to create a responsibly written, entertaining JRPG without condescending to the player or using common JRPG cliches as a crutch. I handled the programming and writing, mostly in my spare time. I took it to Iraq with me twice and worked on it on top of my twelve-hour workdays, and now it's almost done. And I could not be more relieved
I have paid careful attention to the main script for this game: I began writing the game's first draft in February 2009 and ended in May. Since then, this 165-page script has consistently seen countless draft revisions. The story is informed greatly by characterization and character development - each of the six main characters have defined growth arcs based on their circumstances and experience.
Now, I'm not a professional writer, and I'm not published, but I've taken to heart the notion that writing is a skill and a process meant to be honed and improved over time, not something you just do, and I hope that will suffice.
Note: this game is a story-based role-playing game; its style is most like Squaresoft's SNES games. Naturally, a lot of focus is given to the main plot sequence. There's character development and lots
of dialogue. Just giving people who don't like playing RPGs like this a heads-up.Screenshots
(click thumbnail to enlarge)The Gameplay
Banter: Banter is a system of real-time text-based dialogue that doesn't interrupt the flow of gameplay. It's mostly used to provide additional characterization to the main characters, as well as to communicate "radio" broadcasts in real time that inform the player about the world (this is more subtle than it sounds).
Combat: Battle, while containing many options, isn't the primary point of this game. The vast majority of combat encounters are voluntary, and the only rewards it nets are material: you get tags that you can turn in to shops for items. You get no experience from combat. That's the job of...
Sociability: Statistical growth is handled mostly by the plot. There is a maximum of nine levels in the game, dictated by how far you are in the story. Once you pass these thresholds, you automatically level up. Statistical customization, however, is possible with the Sociability system.
Cutscenes, banter, and NPC dialogue all grant Sociability Points (SP). Each level has an SP benchmark, and once the character is past that benchmark, they can spend any points after that directly on stats and grow their character the way they want.
NPCs: I write NPCs with two fundamental rules in mind: one, that the NPC will react to the plot, and two, that the main characters will subsequently react to the NPC and learn more about themselves in the process. I use a couple of tools to achieve my ends.
One: I've built a system of plot periods to provide an easy way to allow NPCs to react to the plot. NPCs will say different things if you approach them later in the game as opposed to earlier. Two: When an NPC gives the player a choice in this game, the choice isn't between snippets of dialogue the character might say. The choice is between the characters themselves. Conversation NPCs allow the flow of dialogue to diverge into wildly different directions, depending on the character chosen. Three: Certain "buddy" NPCs exist that befriend (or in some cases, antagonize) certain main characters. You can progress these conversations over the course of the game.The Characters
(from left: Corvallis Unruh, Angela Leyline, Attlas Douglass,
Leyt Duckworth, Alex Kirovabad, Lomah Byron)
These people have their own motivations, rivalries, and social circles. Some of them hate each other and some of them have never met. But they all have something in common: they're the silent that thirst for a voice in this chaotic world. Maybe they'll make headway at some point. Full info on the main and supporting cast can be found here
In the game's world, a class of beings called cursors
arose from a rogue state scientist's clandestine experiments. Full lore info can be found here
.Default ControlsNote: in order to customize your control set or use a joypad, go to the Configuration menu.
[Arrow] - Move/Navigate Menus
[C] - Attack/Confirm
[X] - Show Dialogue/Secondary Function
[Z] - Cancel
[Q] - Main Menu
[Enter] - Pause
[A,S,D] - Party Member Command Menu
[1-6] - Node Hotkeys (top row number keys)
[F1] - HelpFeedback Opportunities!
This game isn't released yet but it's really close to completion! The game is feature-complete and it's about 90% content-complete. When it comes out, you can find it at www.modestarcade.com
Specifically, I'm looking for people who would be willing to help us find and destroy bugs prior to the final release of this game. If you can help us out, shoot me a PM with your e-mail and I'll add you to our QA mailing list. We'll let you know when it all goes down.
Anyway, thanks for your time! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.