The Last Bastion of Magic

The Last Bastion of Magic

The premise of Mystic Riders is that Astranar is the last country on Earth where magic still works and affects people’s daily lives. Every girl (player) that is invited to Astranar has a bit of magic attached to her soul, a shard if you will, that gives her the ability to manipulate magic and survive in the Mirror World. Each district in Astranar is dedicated to teaching one type of magic. The shard might be one of Light, or a shard of the Shadow. The larger the shard attached to the player, the potentially stronger in magic they are. The player’s shard is large enough that they might be able to master more than one type of Light or Shadow magic, giving them incentive to explore the other districts of Astranar.

Do they have the ability to use the long lost magic of Harmony?

No one knows why the magic of the world broke and why only Astranar can still touch the Mirror World. Perhaps that’s a mystery the player can resolve? Though it is unclear if magic can ever be fixed. Or if it even needs to be fixed.

The magic of the Light is the magic of the elements, of illusions, and of the mind. While the magic of the Shadow is the magic of decay, absence, and negative emotions. (Death stays out of it.) There is also easy magic that every caster on Astranar can use such as calming animals, cleaning and mending objects, sparking fires and summoning water.

All types of magic are controlled through three statistics: accuracy, cast time, and power.

Accuracy controls if the magic hits what it’s supposed to hit or does it explode with unintended results. Cast time controls how long it takes to cast a spell after the player finishes drawing it with magical energy. Power determines how big of an effect the spell has. The more powerful a player is, the bigger the impact and range of their spells.

It’s known that Light magic is more stable than Shadow magic especially if Shadow magicians try to use Light magic. It tends to explode in their face. But on the other hand, Shadow magic may be more powerful than Light magic.

Magical patterns are stored in books that the players can keep with them in their saddlebags or store in their libraries. There are four books, three for each level of magic, easy, medium, and difficult, and the fourth is holiday magic! A special book that holds the magical power of the special times of the year and can only be used during those days.

The player accesses their magic by equipping a book in the magical book section of the user interface, and then they can open the book, flip through the pages, and trace on the screen the pattern of the spell, either by holding down the mouse and hitting each dot in order or clicking on each dot individually.

The more magical powers they’ve studied, the more magic they have at their disposal and the more things they can do, and quite possibly (undoubtedly) the more places they can explore on the map in Astranar.

The player will have a magical meter that they use when they cast a spell. They can only cast so many spells before they’re out of magic and they have to wait for it to fill again over time. (Or maybe there are some snacks for that.) Cast a spell and it backfires, it might take away a bit of magic. The more magic they cast, the more magic they can use as they level up.

The player’s jewelry can help them get better stats in their magical abilities. Earrings, necklaces, rings, and bracelets can be equipped. The player can buy these at stores or make them by learning forging, or thread crafts. Different pieces of jewelry may take up more than one slot in their character equipment bar.

Decorative, function, and allows the player yet more control over customizing their characters!

The player will find many uses for magic in the game, whether it’s to acquire a pet, or make small chores go faster, exploring the map, or using it to thwart the other faction’s plans. Magic is integral to the story.

What type of magic do you want to learn to control?

The Games Within the Game

The Games Within the Game

Mini-Games. I have touched a lot on mini-games while talking about every other mechanic thus far in the game! Part of our vision for the next stage of MMOs is incorporated mini-games inside the game itself. The biggest examples I can think of is the different hacking style mini games in Sly Cooper and Ratchet & Clank. The biggest mini- games that most MMOs have are their fishing mini-games. (Almost every MMO I know about has a fishing mini-game in it one way or the other. The original Guild Wars being the weird exception to this.)

Our target demographic, being female, really enjoy smaller style app games like bubble shooter, connect three, and puzzle style mini games. Women love hidden object games as well. When a single player game is made for little girls like oh, Tangled, or Disney Princess Adventures, a huge part of the gameplay is integrated mini-games and puzzles. We want to take this out of the single player game and put it into the MMO style game.

MMO games don’t have to be 100% fetch and escort quests, and drag and drop items into glowing sparkling fields. Because, that gets tedious. We know it does. We’ve all been there playing a game for the story or hoping to get to the end game for the PvP battles and been stuck endless grinding in fetch quests in order to level our characters and get new gear. And even in a combat MMO where there are NPCs around that want to hurt you, this gets mind numbing. (And so does the combat depending on the mechanics.)

And horse games, well, the type of horse games there usually are include mini-games such as currying your horse, cleaning the hooves, mucking the stables, and sometimes you get washing your horse and styling your horse with different mane and tail styles and fancy gear.

Feeding and watering your horse usually isn’t involved enough to be turned into a mini-game. With many of those horse games, that’s actually all there is to the game at all! (Which is so disappointing.)

So, here are some mini-games we’re thinking about for Mystic Riders.

Trace the Pattern/Connect the Dots

On your screen would be a pattern, or a set of dots. The player uses their mouse to trace the pattern or to select the dots in the right order to complete the pattern. Examples where this can be used: casting magic, doing hair in the hair salon, sewing a garment. Magic is the biggest place where we expect to use the trace the pattern mini game.

Bubble Shooter

The player has to shoot groups of bubbles in the right order to clear the screen. Mostly for magically locked places, such as the Mirror World.

Puzzles

Find the pieces in the area and fit them together. Good for making bridges, restoring artwork, or putting furniture and musical instruments together.

Pattern Match Mini-Game

The player is given rows and columns of items. There is a pattern, set number of items they have to match in each row. They need to move the items around before they’re put together at the bottom of the screen. Good for cooking and brewing, possibly cloth making, and so on.

The Slide Bar Mini-Game

The player watches a bar on the screen with a slider that goes back and forth. When the slider is in a specific spot of the bar (often a different color) the player clicks the screen to stop it. Useful for anytime that timing and accuracy is important. Could be used for forging, archery, and fishing.

Light Pattern Mini-Game

Sometimes, things just need to be a certain color. Whether or not it’s a set of lamps keeping a gate closed, or a group of Christmas Spirits that got caught up in the fun of Halloween, they need to be changed. Make the lights the right color, doors may unlock, secret places may reveal themselves, and Christmas can be saved.

Falling Objects

The sky is falling! Oh my. Oh, it’s just fruit and nuts you say. Well, carry on then. In the falling object game, the player runs around the screen to catch items before they hit the ground or direct falling items to specific spots. (These games should be easy. Easy I say!) Usually there is some sort of catastrophe going on. Or maybe the farmer needs your help to catch their apples before they hit the ground.

Pet Puzzles

The player guides their pet to go through mazes, push levers, press buttons, and sit on different pressure points in order to unlock certain gates and doors. Pets don’t do that you say? Well, this is Astranar and there’s magic. Mostly for having a good time with your pet, or Mirror World people don’t think the same we do about locks.

Clean the Screen

The player has to clean the screen with their mouse to reveal what’s under the dirt and grime. Mostly for archaeology.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of the mini game options that are available to us as game devs. These are the ones that we think would be the most entertaining and make the most sense. For mini games such as horse brushing and hoof picking, I’d want to consult with experts to make them more “realistic” and also make them completely optional.

Without a combat system, it is imperative that we give the players a variety of ways to advance the game, so they don’t become bored with what they are expected to do to continue the story. Thus, our answer is mini-games.