In Mystic Riders, your main character (MC) is the hero of the story. It’s their journey and they are the star. The story pillar for the game is “growing up.” And we want the player to feel like they’re in charge of the story and what they do matters. We want them to create the star. So, we’ve come up with some game mechanics and story elements in order to customize the journey.
Character creation in Mystic Riders is more than about customizing the avatar and magical color changing horse. It’s about choosing the best starting magic for the player’s chosen aesthetics. The quiz will help decide what district, the first racing skill type, what type of magic the character has, and other cool things like if they live in a dorm room, a tiny cabin, or in a tree house while at camp. (The player can choose if this carries over to their farm and stable or not.)
There are seven different magic types in Astranar (and the elusive eighth type, Harmony) and each district specializes in a different magic. Each district is a different chapter in the story that can be played in any order depending on what type of magic the player wants to learn next. Because story wise, the MC is the next wielder of Harmony magic, the first in centuries.
Helping the player on the journey are the mentors of each district. The mentors are only a year or so older than the MC, and can only wield one type of magic. They came to Argentum the year before and earned their spots in the Royal Riding Academy. If the MC gets into a great deal of trouble, they can help out. Maybe. If the MC gets into too deep of trouble, the player will need someone with a great deal of magic experience, like Headmistress Thyme to get them out of a jam.
There are choices to be made all through the game.
After customizing the MC and choosing a district with it’s racing skill tracks, there are other skills to be learned such as crafting and arts. Learning different skills in the game like hiking or gardening will help in the journey to discover Astranar’s secrets. And being able to make clothes and equipment not only will allow the player to outfit the MC in better gear, but earn some extra coins along the way. The more skilled the MC is, the better things the player can make and the harder obstacles they can take on.
When the player levels up the MC and their horse, we want them to have the ability to customize stats to what they feel is important. There is going to be a certain amount of strategy in choosing where to put stats to be the most effective depending on where the player is in the game. Not every horse is going to be the fastest horse or the most agile or most disciplined. Different horses are good at different things.
Answering questions is going to affect how the story proceeds and how characters in the game perceive the MC as a person. The player may want to put the MC’s best foot forward. How much effort the player puts into completing quest goals in the game is going to reflect on the skills and abilities that the MC has and how good they are at them.
There are factions to choose. Does the player want to control the power of nature, create illusion, and read minds? Or do they want to explore the natures of rot and decay and the nightmares of others? It’s up to the player. Each of these factions will alter the story. And give players access to different areas, equipment, and gear. Depending on if they choose to be in the Light or Shadow Faction, there are specific pets and horses the MC can get that are exclusive to those factions.
As the player progresses in the game, the MC will be given an opportunity to take the first steps in a profession. Do they want to be a jockey? Entertain the masses like Rose Neptuna? Or even explore the far reaches of Astranar searching out secrets? Professions will give special quests, extra items, and access to special areas.
Most importantly to us is that the story is about the player’s main character as the heroine who is there to train and learn the secrets of Astranar and Argentum in order to make the Light and Shadow Magic of the world harmonize again.