We were supposed to start working on Book 2: Taurus in January of 2016, right after all the character illustrations have been submitted by our resident concept artist, Sao Menguito. In fact, our pixel artist Hans Antonio had already begun creating the tile sets and the character sprites for Taurus. To this day, I have not started building its world. The reason for this? Last January, I was paralyzed by the lack of closure I had with Song of Pisces. By that, I mean, despite the fact that I had labored so much to build its world, I had been unhappy with the outcome. That is, fans of its predecessor, Prologue, had been completely alienated by it.
Those who had tested Song of Pisces actually enjoyed its fast-paced hack-and-slash mechanic, but they weren’t the target demographic to begin with. Heck, I realized that *I* (the designer) am not my own game’s target demographic. It wasn’t until I saw the reaction that I realized that it was a mistake to change mechanics so drastically. Instead of having fun, people were complaining about being stressed. I wanted something that would remind me of Ragnarok Online, but the result was a clunky mess.
Shorter title. Sao and I did discuss the remaining titles at length and we decided to change the way we named installments of the series. So from the lengthy “War Guardian Chronicles Book #: Insert Title Here”, we decided to simply give everything else relatively shorter titles. So this “relaxed edition” will now be known as Book 1: Pisces, and the following episode will be Book 2: Taurus.
Turn-based battle system. This took a lot of reverse-engineering on my side but I thought that it would give enough people time to think about their options while fighting enemies. I implemented an auto-battle system for those who get easily bored but this is only handy if your characters are about as strong as your enemies. We also have new “battler” art, courtesy of Ishy Socro, which are all based on the sprites that Eunice Gatdula drew.
Tools. Are still in place but limited to the left and right hand weapons. For those who still want the hack-and-slash feel, well, you can still kill enemies with these tools. You just have to have quick reflexes. This is pretty handy for enemies who are weak but persistent in chasing you.
Levels and skills. Since you no longer need to hoard mobs for fast kills, most of the dungeons have been re-arranged in terms of enemy distribution. Some of the skills were also slightly modified, like for instance, Pai’s Charge attack has become a buffing skill. We also had to nerf many of the enemy skills because having a turn-based system means you cannot run around or avoid them, and will have to receive damage directly whenever an enemy takes its turn.
An entirely new game.
Book 1: Pisces will be released as a separate title from Song of Pisces. Our estimated time of arrival is either late June or early July 2016. We are hoping to get more people into the world of the War Guardians, especially as we will be introducing new characters and new scenarios in every War Guardian title.