Sometimes things come full circle. Sometimes they even do it three times in one week!
The gameplay front:
ORK 2.3.0 released with a boatload of new things. For my purposes, the most important two are:
Status effect types – This finally brings organization to the chaotic mess of 400+ effects that I created for my fashion system and lets me do things like “Neutralize” magic that removes all “Stat Boost” type effects. That second part was an important component that I had wanted from the beginning, but I’ve been living without it for so long that I actually forgot it wasn’t possible yet. It’s a key part of Celty’s abilities and her character: because she reads people well and sees the truth about them, so to speak, she can easily undo any enchantments.
Shortcut slot menus – This will take much more effort on my part, but basically players will be able to create a selection of 8-12 moves per battle per character. This was another thing that I wanted from the beginning as yet another Pokémon inspiration: rather than having to search through every move every time, they’ll decide outside of battle which moves they care about and which they don’t. (And unlike Pokémon, characters don’t forget the moves just by taking them out of the menu, so they can be reassigned at any time.) Reducing the number of button presses this way should help out the flow of battles, which has still felt a little bit off to me until now. It also fits perfectly with my “Adventure your way!” slogan, where everything from exploration to outfits (equipment) to battle is customized by the player; you make your own dream because you’re a dreamblazer too. =)
The art front:
Another thing I’ve wanted to do since last June is have characters’ faces drawn for use in dialogue. That got put on the shelf in favor of finishing a big flurry of character designs since Flora was leaving freelance art behind, but it came back up since dialogue is right in the middle of what I’m doing now. And you know what else came back up? Flora herself. :D
So faces are soon to get underway as I’ve been gathering references, thinking out which characters will react in which ways, and so on. Since I have so many characters I’m trying to be careful about not going for 23935 faces to cover every possible scenario, but only the ones that I truly need: some characters never get Angry faces, others never get Scared faces, and so on. It’s trickier than it might sound; having over 30 characters and about 30 expressions that I can think of is a lot of combinations to sift through and this also needs to be balanced against the two main currencies of life: money and time.