Developer: Astra Cat
Release Date: 2018
Platforms: PC, Oculus
Press Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Astralojia is an RPG in development for virtual reality devices. It’s an episodic coming of age story about a kid named Taku, who is learning, exploring and competing in the world of Astralojia. Featuring classic simple pokemon like gameplay, in where you find martial arts students to challenge and fight to improve Taku’s experience.
Astralojia is an RPG in development for virtual reality devices. Like some classic RPGs such as Xenogears, Pokemon Black and White, or Trails in the Sky, it features 2.5D graphics in 3D environments.
Being episodic in nature, it has a simple turn based battle system with a limited number of items per episode to collect. It may feel a little bit more like a puzzle game in that way than a true classic lengthy RPG, but I feel that it will allow the development to be much more practical in nature, and that the fun of collecting items won’t be jeopardized in this way, but rather even further encouraged due to an immediate need to improve your character’s stats.
The story is about a kid named Taku growing up in the magical world of Astralojia. You can expect classic pokemon like gameplay, in where you find martial arts students to challenge and fight to improve Taku’s experience.
I don’t feel I should reveal too much more here on the plot yet, so I will be revealing more as I get further into development of the project.
The project has a long history. I’ve went through many revisions of the project, and I’ve given many hours to it’s development over those years. Looking back, many of those early versions of the project now I can’t say that I’m proud of, although I have tried my best to learn from my mistakes and make improvements, hopefully improving myself as an artist in the process.
I began development for the project about two decades ago for a bootlegged copy of RPG Maker 2K3. Now I feel that back then I had made a mistake. I was so focused on the story that instead of creating a battle system and making it an RPG, I kept pushing it as a kind of machinima production, eventually just turning it into an animated film, of which I then spent years more drawing the storyboards, which to be honest were not all that interesting, both not colored and black and white.
More recently, I’ve spent a year off from the project and took it back up last year in the fall. Having worked with a few game engines since I had begun game development in my early years as an artist, I started to examine using Unity as a means of creating my dream games. I started to get myself into this knowing there were a host of challenges to development. First and foremost, to practically be able to finish any kind of RPG, I would have to set up many of the features of RPG Maker in Unity.
My solution is a toolset that I call Astra Tools. The toolset makes use of organized state machines to bring the features of RPG Maker into Unity, very much in the way that RPG Maker organizes it’s data, and I would assume how many JRPGs organize their data. It allows a practical means for me to create lengthy RPGs in a swift manner. It includes first and foremost save/load functionality, a text box engine, a 2.5D animation toolset with state and movement systems, basic screen effects, camera transform manipulation, oculus integration to get ready for the new standalone vr headsets that are coming, and fantasy exterior and interior unity asset packages. It’s taken me a little over a year to develop this, but I would say it was well worth it, as I will now be able to use this toolset not only to create this project, but I’m hoping many more RPGs to come.
I have completed all of the maps and made sure they were optimized for the game completely which has left me with pixel character graphics, particle effects, a menu system, and then finally a battle system to finish. My current design strategy is to complete all of the graphics before returning completely to functionality, in other words programming.
My design philosophy being currently a single man team is to keep it simple and practical. All of my todo lists are set and ready for 2018 to have a finished polished product, ready to ship!
- Episodic story based gameplay
- 2.5D pixel-art characters in a 3D world. Think Xenogears or Trails in the Sky, but in virtual reality
- Simple classic 90s Final Fantasy JRPG gameplay
- Orchestral classic JRPG style of soundtrack
- Built for Oculus Rift, Gear VR, Oculus Go and looking to release on new standalone headsets in 2018
- Cross platform, compatible with PC