[JRPG] HEGEMONE PASS - Turn-Based RPG x Platformer
(logo not final)
A Turn-Based RPG with switchable leaders and Platformer exploration
Hegemone Pass is a turn-based RPG with switchable leaders, who in battle use their title’s influence (a collection of stat boosts, resistances, and a passive effect) over allies or foes, featuring platforming gameplay while exploring various missions. Both sides of battle have a leader, victory goes to the party who defeated their opponent’s leader. Both sides can switch the status of leader from one character to another during battle on to activate their title’s influence over the battlefield.
STORY & CHARACTERS
The goddess Demeter has taken over the Underworld! The former Queen of the Underworld Persephone had her title stolen! Now she's being hunted by Demeter, who orders the entire Underworld to capture Persephone, in order to harness Persephone’s hidden secret and become the supreme ruler of humanity and rule over the Pantheon, the home of the gods!
While in hiding, a distress summoning of Persephone occurs! Temporarily escaping from the Underworld, Persephone manages to save three humans from the Surface from an invasion of the Empire, Yvonne, Ethan and Emilie, members of the barbaric tribes of Icaune.
For having saved their lives, Persephone asks in exchange for their help to help her reclaim her title and retake control of the Underworld, by collecting the five Order Flowers in order to weaken and defeat Demeter.
To do this, Persephone resides inside either Yvonne, Ethan or Emilie, allowing them to manifest the power of their title and lead their team fight against the controlled forces of the Underworld. Persephone can move in between Yvonne, Ethan or Emilie at any time to change which title she needs to activate to change their approach in battle.
Former Queen of the Underworld.
Next in-line for the leadership of the Hardiesse tribe.
A student of the Savoir tribe, brother to Emilie.
A soldier of the Savoir Tribe and sister to Ethan.
Goddess of Harvest and Life, and currently the Queen of the Underworld.
The battle system uses a classic turn-based RPG system. And so, you choose your party’s actions before they act, with speed being a determining factor in who goes first.
Unlike most RPGs though, your party uses a shared pool of SP (Spirit Points). SP is used for performing certain techniques and magic spells of all sorts. SP regenerates every turn, with each conscious ally contributing a certain amount of SP per turn.
You gain EXP from defeated foes, whilst undefeated foes give less EXP if the enemy leader is defeated before his allies.
Your party shares the same exp bar and, as a result, levels up at the same time.
In addition, you can scan your foes with the “Memory Scan” command, which enables you to register the enemy’s entry in your encyclopedia. This allows you to see the enemy’s description, weaknesses and enables the display of the enemy’s current health in battle.
SWITCH LEADER SYSTEM
In battle, each side of battle has a single designated leader (On the player's side, the current leader will have a miasma eye, similar to Persephone's miasma eye, when they are leader). The goal in battle is to defeat the enemy team leader, while simultaneously trying to keep yours alive. When a unit is leader, they manifest their Title over others!
Every unit possesses a Title, a manifestation of their influence over others. Titles possess numerous advantages that differ from one another, including :
- An assortment of stat boosts and/or decreases.
- A passive effect imposed on the receiver(s) of the title’s influence.
- And, depending on the title, a set of **resistances **(or weaknesses).
The effects of a title only manifest when one is the designated leader.
Any leader can pass their leader status to another unit using the “Hegemone Pass” command. Once that unit becomes the leader, their title’s influence overwrites their predecessor’s and it’s own effects come into play.
Titles are classified according to whom the title will influence once the unit becomes the leader. These four categories are:
Provides average stat boosts and elemental resistances for your entire party.
Provides major stat boosts and elemental resistances for your party leader only.
Imposes moderate stat decreases to the enemy team. Does not change their elemental resistances.
Provides major stat decreases to the enemy leader. Does not change their elemental resistances.
There are also techniques that force your team to change their leader, that can be used by ally or foe alike. Also, certain techniques and status effects have different properties if the target is a leader.
If your leader is defeated, it’s game over. But, there are some safeguards in play:
- You can switch your leader to another ally if you feel the current one is low on health or might be weak to the attacks of the enemy.
- Your leader will always endure the first fatal hit in any battle.
- And lastly, if you have any 1UPs, your leader will be revived and the battle will continue.
As long as your current leader isn’t KO’ed, the battle goes on.
OUTSIDE OF BATTLE
The game is divided into chapters, and each chapter has missions to complete. Missions send you to a level with an objective to complete.
In a mission, you take control of the current leader and will be exploring the level which house various obstacles, while being able to switch leaders on the fly to use their different abilities. And throughout the level, you will find treasure chests containing various kinds of items, and small collectibles used for extra 1UPs available during battle.
Enemy encounters are represented on the field. And if you enter their field of vision, they will chase you until you run far enough, or enter battle with them. When in contact with the enemy, you will be sent into battle, but you can get a “first strike” if you hit the enemy with your weapon on the field.
In between missions, you will go to the Intermission.
In the Intermission, you can buy items and equipment in the form of flowers from the Flower Shop, talk with your teammates about various topics, as well as choosing your next mission.
Most of the battle and platforming systems, as well as core mechanics, are done. What’s left to be done is the actual content of the game, with some extra features.
It’s mostly a solo project, I’m handling the programming and doing the pixel art. My brother is helping out by creating a database editor for the content of the game.
All pictures shown above are not necessarily representative of the final product. If you want to see more regular but unfinished progress, you can have a look at my Twitter profile, where I post gifs.
Thank you for reading this devlog!
Very neat art style. Unique!
(GIFs inside! Game runs at 60fps, but GIFs are only at 10fps)
(Please remember that these pictures of the game are not final, things might change later on...)
Today, I’m going to explain a bit more about Leader Switching.
First, a little reminder. You play as Persephone, trying to find and defeat Demeter. As a result, Yvonne, Ethan and Emilie are not the leader, Persephone takes that position. However, whoever is hosting Persephone inside them is considered the party’s leader.
On the field, you can switch your current leader when on land by pressing the leader switching buttons (bound to the E & R keys in the screenshot). This will make you switch your leader immediately to the character indicated in the HUD. This UI element was inspired by the Sonic Heroes team formation hud.
Switching leaders on the field allows you to do various things, but for today, I want to focus on leader switching in battle.
You switch leaders by using the Hegemone Pass command. This command can be used by any party member, and when used it will prompt you to choose the character who will be the leader. When the turn starts, the Hegemone Pass will switch your current leader to the designated ally. Anyone in your team can perform a Hegemone Pass, even when they are not leader, and in fact, you can perform multiple Hegemone Pass in a single turn, as it is a simple action like all the others.
You’ll notice that during a Hegemone Pass, Persephone herself gets out of the previous leader, and enters the new leader! If you look closely, the miasma eye that Persephone has is shared when Yvonne, Ethan or Emilie host Persephone, but disappears when Persephone is outside of them. It reappears only on the new leader!
When switching leaders, a short description shows up, generally reflecting the most important aspect of the title as well as its type (Leader, Team, Target, Fear).
While it’s nice to know the title’s effect on the fly, you can also check each unit’s title at the start of each turn so you can know their effects beforehand, regardless of their leader status.
When the enemies perform their own Hegemone Pass on their teammates, you’ll notice that Demeter is assisting them!... well, from afar. Demeter is much more powerful than her daughter in her current state, and can assist Persephone’s foes without being there, while Persephone has to physically be within the leader, and will be knocked out if the current leader is knocked out, rendering Persephone vulnerable to the Underworld under Demeter’s control.
But today, I’d like to introduce a new move in leader switching techniques...
The Auxo Pass allows you to switch your opponent’s leader to the designated target! One great thing you can do is switch their leader so that a title you can take advantage of is applied, making your fight easier! Or better yet, switch their leader to one of their weaker allies, and finish them off for a quick victory!
But beware! Some foes have the capabilities to do this to your team! Additionally, some enemies will counter your Auxo Pass by performing a Hegemone Pass back to their leader of choice, so be aware!
Currently, the only leader switching move that uses 0 SP to cast is the Hegemone Pass. I am still deciding on how much SP it would cost to use an Auxo Pass (also, debugging, so 0 SP in the screenshots). In addition, I do think I’ll tweak the animation so that you can at least discern who is initiating the Auxo Pass, since right now it does look a bit similar to the Hegemone Pass when seen without context. Maybe like a eye spark on the user with a camera pan to it before the animation?
In addition, did you notice the command selection HUD? At the start of the game, you will only have access to the Hegemone Pass, to make sure players can understand the mechanics enough. When you obtain the Auxo Pass, the command name changes to Hegemone, and opening it will reveal a list of leader switching techniques.
More leader switching techniques can be found, but I’d like to keep them for another time. The only way you can get these techniques is by finding some of Persephone’s Minor Titles, upgrades that can be seen in the field of certain levels. These minor titles can grant you various upgrades, like lava walking, but also things like unlocking new Leader Switching abilities in battle.
One last thing of note! There might be certain encounters where the enemy leader is locked, and therefore, cannot be switched at all. They will always remain leader, no matter what. This is shown with a locked icon above the leader icon in battle.
This small zone will dedicate responses to the Devlog and the game. If there is any feedback you want to give, I’ll try to respond here. However if I don’t respond, generally I’ve acknowledged it, but don’t have any answer at the current time.
[Canned Turkey] (from TIGSource Forums) : "Wow, this looks absolutely gorgeous ! :)
I'm always a nitpicker but there is one thing that really throws off the beautiful flat-shaded artstyle, the lava.
As well as breaking the "one color per material" thing that makes this look so great, there's some serious banding going on as well.
Disregarding that one tiny thing, I'm really looking forward to seeing more from this game."
-> Yeah, the lava area is one of the tilesets that need a rework as a whole. I’ll try experimenting with less shades for lava. I still need to convey with that tileset the idea of a "typical" underworld depiction, since it’s very early on in the game, before introducing more “unheard” of locations.
Thank you for reading this small update! Next update would be up more quickly than this one, and it will focus on the method of obtaining new leader titles.
Notice: Until I figure out the legal aspect of contracts and all that, I won’t be able to hire any music composer or promo artist. I haven’t responded to some propositions as a result of this, but please note I did receive some offers, and will keep them in mind until the legal aspect is figured out. However please do send your offers, so I have a good selection for when I need it.
Really like the look of your project. Looks very ambitious as well!
(This is a mock-up, not an actual screenshot)
Small update! It's not any real details of the game, so it's not technically update #2.
I'll be working all of August for the exams of the french school 42. During that time, I won't have much free time, and I won't be able to work on Hegemone Pass during this time! I'll still be able to look at twitter and the devlog, but no actual coding or spriting.
Before I go, I just want to leave a small teaser gif, regarding the next update. The next update's focus will be on the way you obtain new titles for your party members to equip.
See you in September!
Looks damn sexy ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡° )
Good luck with your exams!
I am so looking forward to being able to play a version of this game, the artwork is truely fabulous and I am a big jrpg fan. What platforms are you planning to release on?
Really quick update!
The Hegemone Pass website is now online! It is still a work in progress, and the site is subject to changing. It's still a very early website. It was built thanks to Wordpress.
You can access the website at:
We will also be posting the contents of the devlog onto the website. The website will be crucial for the press release, but it can't be used on it's own: we will need to make an announcement trailer, but that is going to take some time, and there are certain things I need to get done with the game before showcasing it in a trailer. Most notably, a bug with the positioning of special effects during the battle system, which causes it to have a slight 1 frame delay from intended.
In the future, the top part of the website will contain a short description of the game, and act as the portal for the details of the game itself (like mecanics, story and characters), while the bottom will remain as the devlog, alongside announcements of all sorts. The trailer and some screenshots would also be accessible straight from the top of the page.
I'm still rather inexperienced with website management. The server is not too powerful at the moment, but since it is not going to be seen often for now, it should not be an issue. However, right before we send press releases, I expect to upgrade the server slightly. You might never know if someone decides to write about the game and a lot of people try to visit the site, only for it to crash. Generally, getting the press to write about your game is a great thing for your game, but it will not happen too often, so it's best not to blow your opportunity...
This small zone will dedicate responses to the Devlog and the game. If there is any feedback you want to give, I’ll try to respond here. However if I don’t respond, generally I’ve acknowledged it, but don’t have any answer at the current time.
[HappinessSam] : "I am so looking forward to being able to play a version of this game, the artwork is truly fabulous and I am a big jrpg fan. What platforms are you planning to release on?"
-> Currently, we plan on releasing the game for PC. Hopefully, we will be also porting it to certain consoles in the future, but the original release on PC goes first. If there are no issues, it should release on Windows, Mac and Linux easily.
Development of the game will be resuming shortly! We have another devlog post planned for next week, so please stay tuned!
This week’s update will talk about how you get new titles in Hegemone Pass! It will be essential, so pay attention!
First, a quick recap about titles.
- A title acts as an equipment for each character. The title’s powers take effect once the owner of that title becomes the leader in battle. All your allies and foes have one equipped.
- A title can affect different targets based on its type: Team affects positively your team, Leader greatly affects positively your leader, Fear affects negatively the enemy team, and Target greatly affects negatively the enemy leader.
- A title can improve stats, add resistances, and a beneficial special effect. It can also weaken stats, add weaknesses, and have a negative special effect. It’s based on the type of title, generally. Fear and Target titles cannot affect resistances.
- By switching your leader, the old leader’s title is not in effect any more, and the new leader’s title comes into effect.
You can improve your battle strategy by equipping titles that go well with your other party members.
But how do you get new titles? In normal circumstances, a title is granted to you by gods, demigods, heroes, or an entire population for having done a recognizable act that lives on with the soul. Everyone has at least one title, no matter how basic it is. Yvonne, Ethan and Emilie, like most of the young and inexperienced, only have a basic title given to them based on the position in their tribe.
However, while in the Underworld, there is another way to obtain new titles for themselves…
With Demeter ruling the Underworld, the rules that applied under the reign of Persephone no longer apply. As a result, stealing titles has become a common occurrence in the Underworld. Persephone, having her own title stolen by Demeter, can recognize stolen titles easily. Stolen titles don’t belong to the owner. They are physically represented by a dark butterfly. Normal titles are physically represented by coloured butterflies, with the colour it bears reflecting the title’s type (Red – Team, Blue – Leader, Green – Fear, Purple – Target).
In order to get new titles, you must find an enemy carrying a stolen title, and defeat the enemy while they are the leader of their team! It is relatively simple.
Once you defeat the leader, the stolen title’s colour will be restored. And Persephone will give the title to the one best suited for it, who will be the only one who can equip it. You can equip it right away if you wish, but you can change your equipped title at any time in the main menu.
If you defeat a foe with a stolen title, but they were not the leader, don’t worry! For every enemy of the same type you defeat, the odds of encountering the enemy with the stolen title increases! With a bit of persistence, you will be able to retrieve a stolen title without to much effort!
In the future, there will be a way to track down foes who have stolen titles. I’m still working on this feature…
And that’s about it for this week! Next week’s update will be a small one. I am now hard at work on getting the game ready for an announcement trailer and a press release!
Level Design Update: Chapter 1
Original Post: http://hegemonepass.com/working-chapter-1-level-design/
Today's update is not going to be major. I have been hard at work on making the first chapter of the game, but it is nowhere near close to being done. So, today I'm going to just showcase what exactly I have done this past week. This week, I was mostly making the level design of the first chapter, but I did significant updates to the tile sets of both areas used inside of chapter 1.
First of all, we updated the background for the city levels. The lava has been simplified, and the city in the background has much more red than before, making the city reflect more it's status as a capital city of the Underworld. It's a lively place to be in. In contrast to the background, the ground and walls are blue and cold, as it's just outside of the city. It's still part of the city, but it's merely the suburbs.
Posters of Demeter are all over the walls, as well as Wanted Posters for Persephone. There are different posters in the city too!
Here's a showcase of a new entity in the game! A breakable rock! Yvonne can break these rocks using her Ribbon Axe.
During the later parts of the Chapter 1, you'll be venturing farther outside from the city. It's what most people think of when they think of the Underworld! The uninteresting areas of the Underworld look like this. It's kind of like the countryside, but a lot more sour. By the way, those spikes will deal great damage to the current leader. Luckily, you cannot be KO'ed on the field!
I haven't shown it here, but the majority of the Underworld's "countryside" has lava, and I did update the design of the lava.
And that's all for this week! I'll be working hard to make as much progress on Chapter 1 as possible. It's going to be the main area I use to create the announcement trailer.
It's a very small update this week, as most of the week went into doing content planning for the game's first chapter. Not much visually was done, except for updating and optimizing the title equip screen in the pause menu.
The screen highlights who gets affected by the selected title when equipped by the party member when they are the leader. The update to this screen was done because it was poorly optimized.
And a little debug screenshot, since I'm a bit short of stuff to show this week: rising water!
Each character has special tweaks when under water. When Ethan is under water, his bunny glide will lose altitude much, much slower than usual, allowing you to cross very large gaps. With rising water, there can be puzzles where the player would need to wait for the water to be sufficiently high to cross a large distance, being impossible to perform outside of the water.
There's going to be more stuff hopefully next week. There was so little stuff to show off I didn't update the blog this week! :o
These character designs are stunning :o
Whoops! I completely forgot the past two weeks to update the devlog on here!
I'm too exhausted from the past few days of work outside, so I'll be giving a quick summary of both updates, both which can be found on the main website.
MEMO, THE GOD OF MEMORY
In this post, I write about a new friendly, non-playable character, Memo. He's the god of memory, and can help you with a shop, a save feature and more!
LEADER LOCK ZONES
The more recent post, talking about a new obstacle, the Leader Lock Zone! It forces your leader to switch to the color of the designated leader lock zone, and prevents you from switching your leader while inside!
Hopefully, I'll remember next time to post it here.
Woah there! Great news! (and priority changes)
There was an unexpected Siliconera article that popped up! I did not send any Press Release, FYI.
It's nice that an article has been written! However, I must work on a Press Release ASAP, alongside a trailer, so that journalists have a clear idea about what the game is about and help them write about the game more easily. The game appearing in a larger space other than game dev forums / twitter does require me to take more caution with what I release (I don't want unfinished material passing off as finished, for example)... The Press Release will be an attempt to showcase the gameplay and the special properties of the leader switching and titles mechanic through the trailer, with the text being reviewed to make sure I can get the message accross clearly. One idea is a Super Smash Bros % Ejection Comparaison shot-like scene in the trailer for showcasing the effects of the different titles.
This means I got to work on my writing, making sure I can convey the necessary information clearly.
The website will also be updated with the new PR. Certain small details have changed, and certain screenshots have outdated tiles or UI elements.
This is a very sudden update. This whole week I'm working full time at work (not much rest), but from next week I'll be able to resume regular work on the game. Updates are going to slow down: the press release material is going to take the highest priority (it was already high enough, but the article does push the urgency of doing it).
This is also going to force me to decide on the music composer, and if possible, the promotional artist.
TL;DR: Siliconera posted about our game! Since I did not send a Press Release, but it's out there on a big site, the top priority is to get a Press Release and trailer written, to clear any confusion and help out the writters when writing about the game.
Best Of luck with it, love seeing what you post on twitter and super great to be seeing such a great game on haxeflixel by the looks of it. :smile:
Been a while!
Currently, I've been working on a lot of different things, but all towards one goal: to get a trailer/press release done. One good thing is that the Database Editor is useable, and I can create content much easier than before. There are still a few things to iron out, but the game takes the data correctly now.
There are other things I did, but a lot of it is mostly backend. A few things, like field damage counters, are shown in my latest post on the website.
Hopefully, I'm expecting to get the all this done near end November. Hopefully. I also need to decide on a composer, as the trailer will require music.
Long time no see! I've posted a new blog post today! To summarize, the game is now entering content development.
Check out the blog post for more details on the changes, I'm a bit too lazy to copy and paste all the images into imgur...
First of all, I am terribly sorry for not having posted anything formal on the devlog. I had a two month period where I had a lot of real-life work to do, and the rest of the time during this silence was doing a lot of backend, such as bug fixing, and optimization here and there. Most importantly, I've also completed during that time both an attack choreography editor (battle animations) and a cut-scene editor, to speed up their creation.
Amongst the new changes, I've redone how intermissions works: they now act like a mini hub stage! You can talk with your allies here and access all the features of the intermission.
You also get to play as Persephone, not within one of your party members, during Intermission.
A few services in Intermission also got a bit of a rework, such as the Mission Select!
Other things were added, like a stat/buff/debuff viewer during battle.
And a few field gimmicks, like the Gravity Minotaur Beam.
Again, sorry for the silence. The other changes are listed on the blog, but now I'm on track to create the contents of the game.
Yesterday, I wrote a post on the main website about enemy spawners, more specifically, the different iterations it went through. You can check that out here:
To summarize, the game went from a Paper Mario style of spawning enemy encounters, into a more traditional random enemies on the field mechanic, inspired by Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. It's the first time I write this kind of article, focusing on the game design and so on, rather than just keeping people up to date. I might try writing other posts in this vein...
The enemy radar was recently introduced to warn players in advance when enemies are going to spawn. Also recently introduced, the Lightshine item! Used on field, it closes all portals and scares away all foes for a few steps, resetting the radar along the way!
(Sorry, the menu UI is still a bit broken after bitmaptext conversions)
I also created button icons for keyboard and joypad buttons, fixing the keybind screen along the way, and making it so that changes are only applied if you select the apply button.
The last change I wanted to point out was that the game now shows when selecting a target if they are weak against the selected attack during battle! It will be very useful for battle where the enemy can switch between multiple leaders carrying team or leader titles that grant resistances or weaknesses.
I do post a lot more often (sometimes minor things) on Twitter, but I just wanted to post a few things that I pushed on twitter lately. If a lot of small minor updates occur on twitter, I'll probably do small compilation posts here from time to time.
Thanks for reading!
Hello! Another post has just been posted to the main blog!
Challenge Battles have been implemented! Find a Challenge Gate, enter it and fight a battle with special conditions to earn special prizes that will be useful for your journey! Losing a challenge does not result in a game over, and can be instantly retried if failed.
There are locked doors and the key system that was in the game as a mission objective has now been changed to act like normal keys! Keys only exist within a mission, and don't take any inventory space.
Lastly, new animation for obtaining a Persephone power.
Wow, it's been a really long time since I last posted on the devlog! I even forgot to post the last update that was in June!
I've introduced the mastery system to titles, and I did a bit of UI changes in battle.
So what's mastery? Basically, it's a sort of EXP for titles. After every battle, your team gains not only EXP, but mastery points as well.
A title has three levels of mastery, with level 1 being a freshly obtained title:
LEVEL 2 Mastery: Improves the buffs/debuffs for the title.
LEVEL 3 Mastery: Immediately restores 1 SP when the owner of this title becomes the current leader.
FULL Mastery: Exclusive technique usable when the owner of the title has it equipped.
When a title is fully mastered, the owner of the title now gets a rank up!
Each party member now has a rank. You improve their rank by mastering titles for each character.
Getting ranks unlocks permanent upgrades for that character, such as...
1 Point of SP Refresh, the amount of SP restored every time the character's turn comes up in battle.
Drop rate increase, etc...
Turn Order Update
Previously, the game was a very traditional turn based rpg, where you could select each party member's moves before the turn began, and every actor on the field would act based on their speed.
Now, it's been changed to something more like Persona, where you only decide their action when it's their turn. It's more useful for the leader switching mechanic, both for the player and the AI, also it let's the AI be more reactive to changing situations with relatively little changes to the AI code.
The New Flower System
This is the subject of yesterday's post on the website.
I wanted to make the flower equipments a bit more interesting, and easier to make content wise. The old system of creating each flower, with each one having unique stats and a technique, was rather tedious.
The new system has several characteristics for each flower:
A Brightness Rating
And a technique
Essentially, there is a synergy system between the three flowers you can equip for each character, and the way they synergize is based on their colour. Synergizing improves the power of the equipped flowers, but their power is based on their brightness. A bright flower has great power, but poorly improves the other flowers, while a dark flower has poor power, but greatly improves the other flowers.
Some good news, and recent news too! I've changed the level editor from OGMO to Tiled, and it is going to make my life much easier making maps! The amount of lag there was in OGMO for any map larger than a house was horrendous! Tiled has it's minor problems, but definately much more usable than OGMO.
The biggest thing I miss from ogmo is the enum variable, absent from tiled, but I just preformat my entities with defined strings as "value1|value2|value3...", and modify the property when I place one in the map.
I'm still working on the game, I just had some personal problems. See you soon!