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High Concept: Saviour is a simple, top-down RPG that plays on the concept of death and revival in video games.


Built In: RPG Maker VX Ace


Development Cycle: December 2013 (1 week)

Designer Notes: This game was a remake of an older game that I created for a previous class, inspired by the idea that energy has to come from somewhere; it is meant to examine the player's expectations about revival on death, and turn those expectations on their head.. I focused mainly on selling the story, rather than on working out an impressive combat system within the confines of RPG Maker.  The game follows the story of Willis, a young boy who has just come of age in his village of Twilight Gorge. His village has been plagued by awful nightmares for over a year now; two groups had been sent into Nightmare Cave to investigate a way to get rid of the nightmares, but never returned. Now that Willis is old enough to explore on his own, he decides to journey into the cave, and try to find a way to save his people.

Design Goals:

  • Explore the theme of revival in games

  • Gradually submerge the player in a sense of guilt

  • Communicate narrative through text and subtle environment changes

Postmortem: I didn't have as much time as I would have liked to focus on the game's systems. Combat could usually be boiled down to pressing Enter over and over again, which is unengaging to say the least. I would have loved to do something more complex both in terms of the enemy AI and in the options available to the player, but I needed to allot time to the narrative first. If I could come back to this project, that would be the first thing that I worked on; this would help with how slow the game feels, especially on the third floor of the dungeon.

I would also look into having more meaningful alternate endings. Currently the alternate endings are very simple, and hinge on a single decision that the player makes. It would be much more impactful if I could add more decision points in the game (the opportunity to tell the townsfolk what was happening or keep it a secret, more justification for Willis' resolute trek into the dungeon, etc). Still, the game is definitely a grand improvement over its first iteration.

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