The last couple of months have heralded a significant expansion of our numbers – the recruitment of Korwu as our second scene artist, HereToHelp as our newest writer, and the return of old hands like Mattrex, DoItToJulia, and Undoodle. This has given us a considerable boost in getting the rest of version 5 done, and we’ve already finished our second phase of playtesting.
With the big number fast approaching, I’d like to take this SOTR post as an opportunity to explain a little bit more about what we’ve been working on, why we’ve taken the approach we have, and when you can expect each part of it. I’ve spoken before about how Act V is ‘three smaller Acts in a trenchcoat’ – how does that cash out? What will our future version numbers mean?
This is the big one. In Act II, we got to meet our waifus. In Act III, we got to invite them to stay with us, with varying degrees of politeness. In Act IV, we got the chance to pick a romantic companion (or cool wolfy roommate) to share our roost. So what does Act V add on top of that?
The short answer is “everything”. It would be easy to sideline our existing characters, to make room for the other events of Act V, but I’m not interested in doing that. So instead every single waifu will have new content, as well their own endgame arc, and you can pursue them all simultaneously. No more picking consorts! You’re a king, you’ve earned the privilege.
And if we want to do that, we can’t just recycle our old captive interactions. We need to build an entirely new foundation – one that situates them in their new life, reflects all the choices you’ve made thus far, and gives them the extra depth that we’ll be building on for the rest of the game’s span.
Oh, and a good many of them may be heavily pregnant. So they’ll need new scenes, of course.
In a conventional fantasy story, the villain seeks to change the world, and the hero stops him. Then the story ends there, because the hero has no function besides maintaining the status quo (or maybe accomplishing one necessary change). But we aren’t playing by those rules – however kind or gracious your dragon might be, you are the antagonist, and your victory is the start of your greater story.
Being able to hold court as a king gives us some fun levers to play with the world, and process conflicts in a suitably dramatic public arena. On the court’s agenda will be a roster of concerns for the Realm’s new ruler – some dealing with the transition from the old way of things, some resolving leftover issues from your ascent to power, and some processing the new challenges that begin to emerge.
All courtly matters will be meaningful choices – that is to say that they affect things you care about, will have an impact on the world around you, and offer no ‘golden path’ or obviously-optimal solution to retreat to. You will need to use your own judgement, with an ever-present eye on the resources and people you can depend upon. Good luck.
There are many people who might have joined you in the conquest of the Realm. Eager kobolds, bestial wolfmen, opportunistic mercenaries, eldritch proteans, ambitious infernals, and a certain very driven warlock. We’ve had plenty of interactions with them thus far, but how much do we really know about them? Why do they do what they do? And where will the future take them, now that they’re on the winning team?
Our generals are major characters, just as our waifus are. They will all have roles to play in the final Act, and some of them are very large! So rather than rush in with our preexisting interactions, we’re building a fresh foundation that allows you to discover more about them, and understand who you want to favour in the world to come.
Besides the ‘main’ cast, there are a few characters who haven’t received as much prominence as they might otherwise have. That includes the meek maid Chia, the not-so-meek commoner Enid, and everyone’s obvious favourite – the court herald. I know that people have been raring for more content with them, and Act V furnishes us with the perfect opportunity to provide that.
Our last major decision of Chapter One is the question of marriage. This won’t be the same as picking a consort in Act IV – marriage is more than a romantic gesture, especially when you’re king, and has its own special considerations. You will still be able to pursue romances (or… less romantic routes) with the rest of your harem, as is the tradition of the land. But the choice of co-ruler – and mother of future dragons – will be an important one.
At this point we’re ready to move the timeline forward, and introduce the second component of our trenchcoat. Chapter Two will bring new court events, and new interactions with our cast. And you’ll have some dragonspawn to become acquainted with, as well – something you’ll know, if you’ve played our most recent update, might feature some surprises of its own.
Things really come to a head in Chapter Three, where you will have at least one major crisis to resolve – out of the six that are on offer, depending on your choices thus far. There will be action, there will be drama, and there will be the chance to determine your path down one of the ten different game endings.
But it is not yet over! Not for you, and not for our supporting cast either. I mentioned that our waifus will have further stories of their own in Act V – these lead towards decision points that will determine their final fate. Who gets a happily-ever-after? Who gets a miserable end? How much bittersweet do you like? And on the royal side of things, you may have a marriage to look forward to once all is done.
The last major Act V update exists to close everything out in a suitably satisfying fashion. That means a suitably spectacular wedding night for you, and a series of dynamic epilogues that take our saga forward into the future. This won’t be the end of Ravager’s development – not even close – but it will mark the point we can call our main story ‘complete’.
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That’s far from everything, but I’ve rambled on long enough for now. Hopefully you’ve got a stronger idea of what’s to come! And hopefully you’re as excited about it as I am. Now, I’m gonna get back to work on Act V – when the next State Of The Realm post comes around, I’d like it to include a release date for you.