Posted by Ross
Thu, 20th Jul 2017
Hi everyone. I hope you've been enjoying Al's blogs on the mighty Lost Dimension from our good friends at FURYU Corporation. I certainly have, and not just because someone else has been writing them! :) Since we've had quite a few blogs talking about the various mechanics and characters in the game, I thought that this week I'd give you an update on where we are with the development of Lost Dimension and also provide a brief update on the other game we're working on, Idea Factory's brilliant JRPG, Omega Quintet.
We started the Lost Dimension closed beta slightly over a month ago and once again our group of beta testers have been a massive help to us. We're currently working on fixing the very few remaining bugs, so a huge thank you goes out to everyone who has helped us along the way. We really do appreciate it :). At the moment we're waiting for feedback from a middleware supplier who is kindly updating their software in order to help us solve a few of the remaining issues as we move the game from console to PC. Once we have the updated middleware, it will fix most of the lingering issues and at that point we will be very close to release, so please keep your eyes peeled for more information on a release date for Lost Dimension soon.
We haven't been idle while waiting for this new version of the middleware though. Not only have we integrated higher res artwork than the original console version, but we very recently added the ability to assign multiple skill points at once. While handy during your first playthrough, this is a real lifesaver when starting a New Game +. :)
Finally, as mentioned in a previous blog, we are unable to use the title music featured in the opening movie sequence of the console version of the game. Unfortunately that particular piece of music has not been made available for worldwide use on PC due to some fairly complex licensing issues. However, I'm pleased to say that with the help of FURYU Corporation, we now have a new track for the opening movie sequence; one which fits the opening video sequence so well that suspicions were raised in the office that it was originally created for that purpose. While there is a lingering disappointment that I was unable to persuade anyone in the office that Viking Metal would have been the perfect accompaniment, this does seem like a very good solution to this problem. Sadly, it does mean you may have to go elsewhere for your Amon Amarth fix. :)
It's been a while since we talked about Omega Quintet, but after announcing the game, the feedback we received was really positive! As an update, I'm pleased to say that the port is going extremely well. Our lead programmer is busily working on rewriting the libraries, which is probably the most complex part of the process. We're currently still expecting to put Omega Quintet out on Steam in late 2017, so watch this space for more news in the coming weeks.
© 2017 IDEA FACTORY/COMPILE HEART. All rights reserved. Omega Quintet™ is a trademark of Idea Factory. Licensed to and published by Ghostlight Ltd.
We are also working on localising some of our JRPGs in to Traditional Chinese, which is very exciting for us. Working on new language versions of our games is always a nice change of pace for the team, even if working in a language you are not familiar with has its challenges. Happily most of the testing is handled by our partners in Taiwan, but I always take a close look at the games to make sure that everything is as it should be.
We're also going to be working on a new PC port of a JRPG for a Western publisher. I can't really go into too much detail at this stage, but on a personal level I am really excited to get the chance to work on this one!
That’s all for now. I’ll be back soon with more news from Ghostlight, but until then why not follow us on our Twitter and Facebook pages, our Youtube Channel and our Google + account, where we’ll be posting all the latest news from Ghostlight. You can also follow me on Twitter for a more personal take on all things Ghostlight.
(Blog written by Ghostlight Ltd.)
Posted by Al
Thu, 13th Jul 2017
This week we’re getting closer than ever to a Steam release of Lost Dimension. Just a few middleware-related issues are between us and the finish line, so those of you who are excited for the game can feel justified in getting even more excited in the coming weeks. :)
So far in this series of blog posts on the game I’ve broken down all the characters, the vision system and the battle system in general terms. So, this week I thought I’d try and round everything up and give you my Top 5 favourite things about Lost Dimension. So, without further ado, here goes!
1) Treacherous Traitors!
Probably the best-known feature in Lost Dimension and clearly one of its coolest aspects is the traitor system. On every floor of The End’s otherworldly tower you’ll have to figure out which of the people in your party is the traitor. To begin with you’ve no idea who it is, but by mixing and matching your party in battle and listening to the voice that Sho hears in the post-battle Vision sequence, you can use the process of elimination, a handy colouration scheme and your own logic to discern the villain.
If you’ve got to this point, you’d better hope you picked the correct traitor.
You can read more about this in my previous post on the subject but needless to say it’s a standout feature. The best part is that for every playthrough after your first, the traitor on each floor is randomised, so you’ll never get comfortable with a fixed party. Heck, it doesn’t even matter if you erase the right person or not, the game rolls with it and you must carry on regardless!
2) Deferring Deadliness
Seeing as I was just talking about how I love being sort-of-forced to use the other characters, now’s a good time to talk about deferring. Not only are you free to defer to another character you’ve already used to give them a second turn, but once you have the proper Materia, you can also gain a one-off usage of what I call ‘Crossover-Materia’ gifts.
Another day, another defer.
These are the gifts that you can only use in regular battle once a character has been Erased in the Judgment room and you’ve given their Materia to a compatible character. However, by deferring to the compatible character you can use crossover Materia Gifts for that turn only, getting access to powerful techniques you’d normally be unable to use.
3) Mix n’ Match Materia
Again, the previous point touches on this, but in general I love how levelling up your Gifts gains access to extra Materia as you progress through the game and that how – once the traitorous characters have been erased – those Materia aren’t lost forever. Simply use the Gifts menu and you can transfer your erased characters’ Materia to their teammates, often gaining powerful new crossover Gifts in the process.
Here you can see Yoko making use of one of Agito’s Materia skills. Nice knife!
Even if you don’t gain any brand-new gifts, you can use vacant Materia to give all a character’s basic gifts to any other teammate, creating powerful new character builds in the process. Want your tank to be able to walk through walls? Give a couple of Agito’s Materia to Marco and voila, you got your wish! Wish that Mana was a bit more mobile? Give her some of Nagi’s Materia and she’ll be zipping to the top of ledges in an instant!
4) Rewarding Storyline
On my first playthrough through of Lost Dimension I found the story very intriguing, but admittedly also a little confusing. I was unable to reconcile a few points like fully understanding The End’s motivations and why nobody really knew anyone else. All I can say is, that once I got all the characters’ trust in Sho to maximum, I fully grasped the story and my initial puzzlement was more than paid off.
I like baddies who look like baddies. And this guy is definitely bad.
I can’t really say a lot about this one (for obvious reasons!) but the way the true ending ties everything together was really rewarding and I also enjoyed finding the secret case files on my second (and even third!) times through the game. The DLC missions available are also a great way to get more info on things, although the game resolves things perfectly well on its own, if you’re not inclined to double-dip. :)
5) Tampering with the Turn Order
The last in my top 5 favourite things, and probably also my favourite-est! ;D I simply LOVE the flexibility Lost Dimension gives you to exploit turn-based combat in general. Assist attacks where you mob a tougher enemy and use the whole team to take it down in a single turn are just soooooo satisfying.
Another of Sho’s skills that passively messes with turn order is Premonition, which stops an enemy’s turn in its tracks. Win!
I can also praise how deferring to gain extra turns for your favourite characters, or those with strategic roles on some maps (hello Nagi and Agito!) always makes you feel like a genius strategist. But my favourite thing in terms of messing with the turn order is Sho’s highly-expensive but totally awesome ‘Daydream’ gift. Cast this, and as soon as your turn ends, it magically begins all over again. For the WHOLE team. Yeah, that’s amazing!
So, those are my favourite things about Lost Dimension. If you’re lucky enough to have played the game before in its PS3 or Vita incarnations, what are your favourite aspects of the game? Why not let us know in the comments below? :)
That’s it for this week but we’ll be back next week with more info on Lost Dimension and other Ghostlight stuff. Until then, have a great week! ^_^
(Blog written by Ghostlight Ltd.)
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Posted by Al
Thu, 6th Jul 2017
Over the last several weeks we’ve been talking about various aspects of our upcoming port to Steam, Lost Dimension. We've outlined detailed breakdowns of each playable character and how the game’s intriguing Deep Vision system works, in order to help you find the traitors in your midst on each floor of the tower.
It occurred to me earlier this week, however, that we hadn’t yet discussed the game’s battle system in any depth, so that’s going to be the subject of today’s blog post. As an SRPG, Lost Dimension’s combat is turn-based with emphasis on planning, positioning and cooperation between team members.
So, without further ado, here’s a breakdown of the battle system in Lost Dimension – one that I have masses of experience with and still get a kick out of, even after finishing the game more than 20 times. :)
Movement: Before you begin a level in Lost Dimension you’re able to place your six combatants in pre-determined deployment points on the map. Often, they’ll be divided into teams separated by level geography and even cut off and alone, depending on the scenario of the level.
Here you can see how your lateral movement is restricted the further you are from your starting point.
Movement during levels is free-form within a movement circle centred on your location at the start of the turn, much like some other SRPGs from the last decade or so. The further you move from your point of origin the narrower an arc you’re allowed to move within. Being mindful of the MOV stat of your characters, their attack range and the range of their individual Gifts, will help you prioritise who to place where, before starting a level.
Attacking: During combat all playable characters have a standard attack that’s either close range for characters armed with knuckle dusters, knives and swords, or longer range for those armed with pistols, shotguns and machineguns, etc. Almost all these attacks focus on single enemies, apart from those using a machinegun, which provides the option of attacking inside a small arc, potentially hitting any enemies within it.
One of the few multi-target 'Sweep' attacks in action. Only two characters can do this.
Attacks have a small change to do critical damage, depending on your character’s stats and any Crit-boosting Apps you have equipped. You can also significantly boost your damage by attacking enemies from behind, but be mindful that this also applies when enemies are attacking your characters. I’m always careful to at least leave my guys ‘side-on’ to enemies, minimising potential damage at the end of my turn. :)
Using Gifts: As well as regular attacks, all of your characters have powerful Gifts they can use during combat. These gifts cost GP. Nope, not gold. Here, GP stands for Gift Points, to use and take away some of a character’s Sanity (or SAN) when they’re cast. Now’s a good time to mention that SAN is also lost when you’re attacked by enemies – even if the attack misses – or if you Defer your turn to an ally.
Gifts like Toya's Tempest can do mega damage to multiple oppenents, especially when positioned as a rear attack. No assists for this though, as it's an area attack...
Your Gifts are divided into four categories: Passive, Attack, Recovery and Support. Passive Gifts do not need to be cast, cost no GP or SAN and will be applied automatically (e.g. a higher chance of scoring critical hits). Attack Gifts are those that can be used to attack individual enemies or groups of enemies and will either centre around a particular enemy, the player character casting them, or will be able to be moved around the map, provided they stay within range of the caster. Some Attack gifts will also inflict status abnormalities on enemies, e.g. Sleep, Poison, Charm or Bind. Recovery gifts are used to heal your team members, or to restore their GP or SAN meters. Finally, Support Gifts are used to buff your characters or to de-buff your enemies, which can have extremely beneficial effects, especially against high-ranking enemies (I’m looking at you, Peragrande!)
Assists: If you have managed your team well they’ll have a good level or rapport with one another. When team members have a good relationship they’ll assist one another when making single-enemy attacks. If an ally is within attacking range of an enemy and you perform an attack on it, your ally will automatically provide an assist attack as well, even if they’ve already had their turn, or are yet to have it.
Here's an assist from Mana after another character attacked. Mana had already had her turn! Assists are great!! :)
This is important, because it means that very often you can press enemies en-masse and do greater damage with a single-enemy attack or Gift, than you might via an area attack. This is particularly worth considering when taking on the larger, harder-hitting enemies.
Deferring Turns (Materia): On the subject of assisting your teammates, you can also defer to allies: something that’s often even more useful during your turn. Move near to an ally who’s already taken their move and select ‘Defer’ and you’ll end your own turn immediately but let your teammate take their turn all over again. In this way, you can move individuals a lot further than they’d ever be able to go on their own and make good use of your favourite Gifts multiple times per turn, provided you keep a close eye on your ally’s GP and SAN stats – you don’t want them going berserk near any of their pals!
Here, George has no range to attack, so he's Deferring to Toya, who gets a chance to do further damage this turn.
Deferring is one of my favourite things about Lost Dimension, especially as it can be exploited using certain Gifts – like Sho’s awesome ‘Daydream’ – to lay the smackdown on your enemies before they’ve even had the chance to take a turn. Skilful use can see you take on levels you’d normally be crushed in, helping you level up your team even more quickly. :)
Using Items: Lost Dimension features a host of items in the finest tradition of SRPGs – you can boost health and your GP and SAN stats, restore status abnormalities and – perhaps my favourite – return berserk teammates to normality before they take on the rest of your squad! (I’m forever forgetting to track sanity, even hundreds of hours in!)
Agito, with the right Gift levelling, can use items on characters who are FAR away. Dead useful that...
You can also buy life-restoring stuff, grenades that’ll inflict status effects on your enemies and other nasty stuff. Mwahahahaha!
So, as you can see there’s a lot of interesting mechanics and tactical layers to consider in ever round of combat in Lost Dimension. I am genuinely excited to be bringing the game to Steam as it’s one of my favourite JRPGs that we’ve had the privilege to work on. Soon you’ll be able to try it for yourself as we edge ever-closer to release.
Until then, keep an eye on all-things Ghostlight and happy gaming. :)
(Blog written by Ghostlight Ltd.)