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Another Star‘s approach to letting the player skip random battles brings up an excellent question: how many battles should a player have to fight in order to stay properly leveled up? RPGs mechanics are harder to balance than one might think, and this is no exception.
Here’s a good rule of thumb to remember once you get your hands on (the final, properly balanced version of) the game: when first entering and traveling through a screen, accept every encounter you get. When backtracking through the screen later to find other routes or treasure, then you can ignore encounters without worrying too much about falling behind. For the most part the game is being balanced in such a way that you should be good to go with very little grinding (if any at all) so long as you keep this in mind.
But, like many things in Another Star, this only works if you actually take the time to explore. If you just rush from objective to objective, regardless of whether or not you accept every encounter, you’ll probably start having trouble with bosses—and even the tougher normal battles. If all you want to do is experience the story, consider changing the growth rate to “High” so that you’ll get more experience and money from each individual battle.
Everybody has their own playstyle, though, so don’t be afraid to “break” this rule of thumb no matter the settings you’ve chosen. Maybe you’d rather explore first and then grind a little later? It’s really up to you. Just make sure you’re strong enough to withstand forced encounters. The closer you get to your goal, the stronger the enemies are liable to be…
It seems to be in vogue to announce announcements, so I’m going to make an announcement announcement of my own:
I have a release date in mind for Another Star.
The only reason I’m not sharing the date yet is because I want to make sure I can meet it. The game is well over halfway done and almost the entire map is complete, but there’s still a lot of design work left to be done, not to mention balancing it and making sure everything works. Once I finish this next dungeon I should be ready to say something. That should be next week, so check back then.
“Leaking” a development version of my own game seems to have been the best decision I’ve ever made.
Sure, now the first half of the game’s plot is spoiled and people get to see all my sloppy typos and balancing issues in this early version, but it’s all over the Internet and a lot of people who didn’t know anything about me or the project are really excited about playing the full game in the near future. I usually dream absurdly big and yet this “leak” has gone even better than I imagined. All sorts of indie sites have covered the game, among them both giants like IndieGames.com and smaller blogs like IndieRPGs.com. It’s also popped up on a few different forums I know absolutely nothing about, and someone was even nice enough to post two different threads on Reddit.
After meeting with such success, I’ve decided not to remove the download link like I was planning to do. You and your friends can play the buggy in-development version of the game to your heart’s content for all eternity! Grab it here:
Maybe it will continue to spread
like a bad cold across the world?
I’ve been informed that the blog comments are acting up again and that people are having trouble getting through the CAPTCHA system. Email me if you’re having trouble. I had this problem with the blog before, but I was sure it was fixed in the latest update. I’m going to try to get things back up and running as soon as possible if there is indeed still a problem.
By the way, the “leaked” version of Another Star will be coming down sometime on Monday, so grab it before then, okay!
If you have the Mono Framework installed, the good news is that Another Star is fully playable in Linux (and should be on a Mac as well, but I currently have no way of testing it). The bad news is that you might have to jump through an extra hoop to make it work.
When a program looks for files, it does so in relation to what’s called the “current directory”. In Windows, this is whatever folder the program’s executable file was launched from. But in Linux, it’s usually the home directory. Unfortunately, the “leaked” build of Another Star does not take this into account which will cause the game to fail.
To get around this, the easiest thing to do is copy Another Star’s “Data” folder to the home directory. You can delete it whenever you’re done with it without affecting your saved games, since those will always be in your documents folder no matter the platform. Alternatively, you can change the current directory, but that’s beyond the scope of this post. If you’re using Linux and this sounds like a hassle (it is), don’t worry. It’ll be fixed in the final version of the game.
Let me know how you’re enjoying the game, and if you run into any problems. It still has a long way to go before it’s finished and balanced, but I hope you’re all having fun with it!
Because of the positive—but slow—response to Another Star, I’ve decided to leave the “leaked” version of the game up until the end of the week (which you might have already noticed seeing as the link still works). It will probably get taken down sometime late Thursday or early Friday, so get to downloading it, even if you don’t plan on playing it until later! And don’t be afraid to share the link with friends. What’s the fun of a leak if you can’t spread it a little? 🙂
And just so you don’t have to hunt it down, here’s the link to the download: