The game has been finished and released!
You can get a copy here: https://sarahjaneavory.itch.io/briley-witch-chronicles
Dynamic Party: For a start, although the focus of the game is Briley, there can be up to five characters in the party. Mostly it’s Briley and her cat, Smokey, but others will join and leave as the story progresses.
Story-Driven Game: The whole game is story-driven, and loosely follows the plot-lines of my Briley Witch novels, but with sub-quests added for extra rewards, and some sections removed to improve the game.
This game follows the first four Briley Witch novels: The Spirit of a Witch, Storm Grey, Dark Secrets, and Lies In The Dark. Briley 2 will cover books 5-7, with Briley 3 covering books 8-10.
Cutscenes: I have a lot of cutscenes; they’re used to tell the story; I’m pulling lots of dialogue from my novels, condensing and altering it for the game.
Built-In Tutorial System: Briley starts the game as a delivery girl working for the Baxter family, fetching water and making bread deliveries under the orders of Clarissa Baxter. I’m using this to partially help and instruct the player, teaching them some of the game mechanics. By performing tasks, Briley gets to meet and help various characters; for example, Calibor the blacksmith has a cursed leg; helping him grants Briley something she needs…
Exploration: Although a lot of the game takes place in the village of Maepole, there are other places (villages, towns, ruins, underground caverns) to visit and explore, accessed by a world map. But the village of Maepole has many secret places to find and explore, some of them very rewarding…
Keyword Conversation System: There is a keyword conversation system for talking to certain characters. Some game actions will unlock certain keywords, allowing the player to gain useful information.
Remind Option: There is a Remind option, and this triggers a minor cutscene (usually between Briley and Smokey), informing the player about the current quest, as well as any current sub-quests.
Turn-Based Combat: Combat is turn based, allowing up to five player characters to battle up to six creatures. This gives the players time to form strategies, using items and potions during combat. Since the game is based on my novels, there are no D&D monsters. Creatures consist of appropriate adversaries, such as river snakes down by the river. There are also human opponents at key points.
Smokey joins combat as well, and will gain new fighting skills (eg Double Slash) as he gains experience.
The game rewards experience not just via combat, but by completing certain tasks. For example, upon making a successful delivery. Characters don’t have Levels, all their stats instead increasing at different rates by gained experience.
Mini-Games: There are several simple little mini-games to add some variety to the game.
Cute Collectables: Since I love foxes, there will be small foxes to find and collect throughout the game.
Sub-Quests: There are sub-quests, some being simple find and return quests, others a little bit more involved.
Magic Spells and Potions: Since Briley becomes a witch, magic is a part of the game. Spells range from simple healing, up to powerful elemental attacks, plus various potion mixing spells. Briley gains a grimoire (spell book), and all her spells are listed inside, complete with both a description, plus a list of required reagents (if the spell needs them).
Spells need magic points to be able to cast them, each spell consuming a different amount based upon its power. Spells are categorised, some restricted to combat, others for healing, some for special circumstances…
Potion Mixing: Potion spells need reagents to be collected, as well as a cauldron to mix them in. Some reagents are easy to find, others not. When a potion spell is selected while at a cauldron, the right reagents need to be added before the potion can be made. The cauldron will heat up based on the power of the spell; simple potions cool down quickly, but more potent spells increase the cool-down time considerably.
Weapons, Armour and Items: Briley can gain and equip various items, and even Smokey. As a witch, Briley is limited to certain items such as armour. But some items are magical and will increase Briley’s defence capability. Smokey can’t wield a weapon and instead relies on his claws. But he too can wear special magical items to improve his defence, and learn new skills to improve his attacking power.
Some usable items can only be used by certain characters. For example, some items are only useful for healing cats…
The Status Screen gives all the stats on all the characters in the party, and lists the inventory. Weapons, armour, and special items can be equipped for each character, and other items can be used at various times. Each item has a text description, so the player will know its use, although some items might be a bit cryptic…
Cartridge: The game was originally designed as a disk game, but I switched to an EasyFlash cartridge as that gives me 768k ROM to play with.
There are more features, but that would include spoilers, so I’ll stop here…