Stuff is possibly one of the most versatile words in the English language. However, you really shouldn’t use it in a headline like I just did. Google will probably hate you and no one will take you seriously.
Anyway, here are some wonderful updates on Arvale: Treasure of Memories: Episode 3 🙂
The first thing you may notice (if you click on any of these pics and see their actual size) is that the screen resolution (and map size) has been made quite a bit larger. These is even more noticeable if you play the game in full screen (no more black borders!). Also in the above shot, you can see a mouse-over icon above the door to the shop. It’s a temporary icon, but nonetheless, I said mouse-over, which means…
Episode 3 will have mouse support for the entire game. Which also introduces the new menu you see above. That sort of menu is called an HUD or Heads Up Display. You can also call it a GUI or Graphical User Interface. I call it awesome.
Of course, this allowed me to re-work ALL of the menus to make them a bit easier to access and remove the constant pressing of the Escape key and using arrow keys a bunch of times just to get to one menu (like items or magic). Now you just click on *one* of those icons at the top.
Okay, the menus aren’t completely different, but they are much better. The items menu now allows you to select by category, so you don’t have to hurt your eyes looking through your whole inventory simply to find that Potion you want to use.
The stats menu is a bit different, has some logical, new shortcuts, and it even includes a neat new biography page with all sorts of extra information about the character which you can use to impress your friends at that next holiday barbecue.
The game now will keep track of the amount of steps your party has taken and also shows your current playtime. At the bottom you can also see some contextual help for each menu which can be turned on/off.
This screen doesn’t look all that new, aside from the higher resolution. But everything can be controlled by simply clicking on stuff now, which is nice 🙂
The battles scenes with the mouse are super-cool and along with a few other tweaks here and there, it’s even more enjoyable to play. So enjoyable…
That I took two screenshots of it. That’s how excited I was.
Other things you can’t really see until you play the game have been added as well, like the music continuing from where it left off after you finish a battle (finally! You have no idea how long I’ve wanted that working just right).
Oh, and I have to say this: Any of the above screenshots can change at any time during the development of the next episode. Yes, they may turn into a cheesecake, a pizza, or even a piñata and I will not be held responsible.
In fact, the current icons being used for the spanking-new HUD are just temporary and were taken from a handsome, young, talented artist named Ails which he graciously allows anyone to use for free. The new art for the HUD is being worked on, and will look something closer to this:
If my artist has anything to do with it (and he does) 😉 And before you suggest it, a random wheelbarrow button would be funny, but not practical (uhh, I think?).
Anyway, the game is well under development and is coming along quite nicely. I’ll keep you posted on updates as soon as I think of them 🙂