ALKAHEST: Entry Three


It's been... wow. Two months since my last devlog?  Let's take a quick look back at Entry Two to have a look at the sort of progress we've made.

I think that's all for now. Not sure I'll be able to keep up this weekly cadence for devlogging, but I'll certainly do my best!

... well. I did warn you. Moving on!

Working sprites, a GUI commission in progress, core game and alchemical simulation code solidified, and first written drafts for all routes are just a handful of the advancements I'm happy to report for our ALKAHEST 2.0 build. 

All artists are currently hard at work on their respective deliverables, and I can't tell you how exciting it is to receive updates in our development discord. We also use Trello for more formalized tracking of top level benchmarks, with checklists for development on backgrounds, GUI, character sprites, CGs, script drafts, and programmed extras.  Sound design continues onward at somewhat of a slower pace, as we've settled on Menu and In-Game ambiance music with intent to save sound effects and shorter musical cues for our polishing stage later in this month.


The fundamental design of the game hasn't changed since our last update: four stages with progression difficulty increasing or decreasing based on choices made during each stage. However, the simulation feature is no longer drag-and-drop. We were unable to get this Ren'py feature to work without significant lag, so we've gone ahead and defaulted to a simple point-and-click mechanic instead. While this was quite a disappointing decision to have to make, luckily it doesn't detract much from the overall goals of the game. The pressure and the stakes largely remain the same, with a timed choice feature emerging to fill the void created by this shift away from a more tactile interaction. 


For the Apprentice of a sketchy peddler of potions, enchantments, and magical artifacts, disaster is always one bad customer away.  When their Mentor returns all wrong from a day of "excavations" out on the city limits, they must successfully brew four potent potions, or suffer the wrath of the entity possessing their Mentor's body.

Yep! Not much has changed on this front either, though we've beefed up the worldbuilding considerably.  We've improved upon what was originally a fairly silly way to have fun in a world of tall spires and demon hunters, swapping out fast-and-loose magic systems created eight years ago for ones with a bit more sense to them. 

In Lore City, magic is innate, quantifiable, and in a constant state of flux for all who use it in their daily lives. The changes we've made since first creating this universe allow us to better explore the communities that emerge around political structures built on inheritance and divine right. 

We're really excited!


In my last devlog, I expressed hesitation about revealing our GUI artist in case things did not go as planned ... but I'm really excited to be able to announce that we have the lovely and very talented Re.Alice on board for the commission! The design brief has been reviewed and we're in constant conversation about how best to tackle the more specific requests. They've been nothing but lovely throughout these early stages, and I'm eager to sign off on what I'm sure will be a wonderful final deliverable. 

As for story, as previously mentioned I've written all routes and we're now in the testing and editing phase. I'm feeling pretty good about overall game balance, specifically how our point system directs players through the appropriate checkpoints and grace periods. I don't want to spoil too much, but I will say that there will be 5 Endings to achieve, with a variety of ways to get there. For the completionists out there, 5 CGs await you.

I'm a fairly ridiculous twitter user in that you'll find all manner of irrelevant content on my official account. If you're at all curious to see spur-of-the-moment dev updates, feel free to follow the #ALKAHESTVN hashtag!

I think that's all for now. I'll be saving the next devlog for when we have any GUI screens to show.

Thanks for reading, 

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