I don’t play video games. It’s not my thing for a number of reasons. But dang, if this were for Linux, I’d be missing out…
Tears of Avia is an indie-created anime-styled RPG, or IJRPG if you prefer. It is developed by CooCooSqueaky, based in Bournemouth, UK, but with an international team.
(I wanted to make the links obvious because, as it turned out, the site link took some time to find. The site is seldom-updated as it’s undergoing a makeover at the current time.)
From only a few screen shots, I’d say this game looks like it has some amazing potential visually. As a developer and artist, I have an eye for… oh never mind, here are some screen-shots:
The artwork (at least much of it) for the game is done by Pinakes (WordPress, DeviantArt, Pixiv), an excellent artist who seems to frequently pop up here and there on the internet (at least in the places I visit).
The team has put together a modestly impressive trailer for their work.
~ Game Details ~
What’s this game about? From the summary: A wizard dude (named Dulantine) tried to stop evil forces from conquering the city of Avalon, but in so doing, inadvertently freezes his floating home town he tries to protect… and his loved one, Avia (nevermind the poor peasants). So for hundreds of years, this dude is trying to get them back (because apparently people don’t age much… or just live a really freaking long time, but hey, this is fantasy). It is the job of the player to help this guy get past his own spell to save the city.
The player gets to pick a team of people (4 out of a planned 16, wow!), all of whom get to interact via occasional dialogs. That should remind you of Tales of games, no pun intended. There is cleverness in the design to the dialog events, depending on which characters you choose for your party and who’s left standing, such that you could have a unique experience every time you play. The story does have a general flow so ultimately, it is the same story retold in a different way (no Watson here).
Gameplay is turn-based tactical, and thus involves around picking skills for your party members and choosing how to develop those skills as you battle enemies. However, it is not the straight-forward classic tank-damage-heal. In spite of the labels, characters aren’t restricted to their type’s initial attributes. Mages can have melee weapons and brutes can weild magic.
There are five classes – Rangers, Mages, Warriors, Brawlers, and Priests, currently represented by the characters Reina, Iris, Kai, Raul, and Momoko in that order. The classes each are each to have a large skill tree. Currently, only the Ranger’s tree is available for viewing.
~ How2StumbleUponThis ~
I found the game on IndieDB, and updates are semi-infrequently, as is the case with most good indie projects. In the most recent post, the sole developer had some good things to say about small projects. I’ll let you read his words, but the long and short of it is, he needs publicity and money and isn’t going to get it from big places. (Of anyone, I’d say the Cynical Brit should have a look at this game. Why not? He’s in England, right?)
rant/ IMO, I’m somewhat miffed at a number of gamers. Not all gamers are like this, but there are an unpleasant number that don’t realize the incredible amount of time and effort that goes into developing a good game. People are becoming too accustomed to the idea of cheap games, so a number of people demand lower-priced games but still want the high-quality. They need to try making a game. That’s when one understands the work involved. Indie game development is very, very hard – you have tiny little advertising budget, no monetary support, and desperately need publicity. Admittedly, the market is over-saturated (due to tons of people wanting to make games), making games like Tears of Avia seem common place. Serious money might be spent on name-brand games (Sega, Playstation, etc.) first, but even with the weight those companies push around, it is easy for me to see why they get so ticked off at websites like the Pirate Bay. /rant
At the very least, even if there is no monetary support, at least some encouragement or a complementary publicity would be good. Some time ago, I wrote about Autumn’s Journey (site), a pleasant free visual novel that also needed some attention and support. Which makes me think I should have written a post about Tears of Avia when I discovered it a few months ago. Shame on me. X| /rant (Yes, I just did that twice.)
The best allies for this project turned out to be other bloggers. News spreads. Go WordPress! 😀
All that said, there was a recent Kickstarter campaign for Tears of Avia. It failed to reach its stretch goals for reasons mentioned in the above post. Having taken the game to a convention, the creator received pleasing feed back. That said, they are still persisting in their efforts, and you can support them on Patreon:
(such a link could never be more conspicuous unless in h1!)
It’s developed on Unity, so while it should be cross-platform, the creators have listed it for only Windows and Mac. 😦 Oh the joys of being the puny minority of the computer world (but without the virus issues – huzzah!). Who knows – maybe it’ll be ported. Even Steam has recognized the importance of cross-platform software.
And before you leave, be sure to check out their wallpaper:
The other two wallpapers are not acceptable for my blog. lol. Specifically, the ranger and brawler. In the Ranger’s I can’t see her armor. Sure that outfit is effective in battle? She should take lessons from Ashe, but I guess Evelynn got away with it. Incidentally, that art is different from the promotional art. In the brawler wallpaper, I’m seeing a full metal alchemist trend going… but he needs a shirt, a red one, but that would make him the disposable one. Not that anyone would mind.
~ Conclusion ~
I’ve been let down by indie projects before, and those are usually the kind where the creators have full time jobs, as is this case. But in those projects, money wasn’t a motivating factor as it is here. Those were all fan-games, such as Shadows of Lylat – a game with incredible potential… that never left the “potential” phase beyond a few awesome models and some trailer videos.
That said, I see this game as being a success if it can get a fan base and more support. Kagerou project took off, and that was one guy writing music and another doing videos. But just the existence of the fan base won’t do it, as things like Parashi Tales trickled into nothing. The creator of Tales of Avia is definitely motivated, so power to him. I’d love to see more stuff like this get off the ground.
~ In another land… ~
On a completely not-so-separate topic, there is another indie anime-styled RPG, or IJRPG, in the works. Called Zirkonia, and it is developed by Umaiki games, which is a single German… I think. At the very least, it is created using my favorite game engine, irrlicht.
The irrlicht forum thread with all of the information is here:
At the moment, it is a long ways from beta phase, so don’t expect any playable demos soon. But it’s a heads up in case you’re interested.