this is your captain speaking.
in this business, i don't especially like saying that i'm going to do things at some point down the line. there's always so much going on that things slip my mind, or life gets in the way, or something.
but there is one that that i said i would do a bunch of devblog posts ago.
i said i would tell you when beta has started.
beta has started.
this is it. we're in serious business territory now. shit is actually real. this stupid game has been in development for 10 years and release is imminent.
it has been three and a half years since e18 was first released. that's a long fuckin time! there have been 5 new developers added to the team since then!
i'm one of those developers!!
that's weirding me out!!!
so this is a post about realistic expectations.
i've been piloting your hype train/plane/boat/bus for a few months now, and my sole job has been to get you excited. but now we're getting serious. now i'm asking you to put your seatbelt on. now i want you to start mentally preparing yourself for this shit.
beta testing means that the game is effectively in its final state. there won't be any dramatic changes between now and community release. the next month or two will be dedicated to smoothing out everything we've worked on up to this point. and holy shit have we worked on a lot of stuff.
so. how much game is e19?
play time is going to vary heavily between people, but right now we're putting an estimate of 100-130 hours from start to finish.
that is insane. that is five real-life days of straight gameplay- and you still might not make it through to the end. we're starting beta testing and are expecting maybe a couple of people to actually complete the game before release.
if you're wondering why testing has taken so long, this is why.
what's the game going to be like compared to e18?
last post i did a non-exhaustive round-up of all the new features that we've made to the mechanics of the game between e18 and e19. performance wise, the game runs like a dream. i personally can't go back to the original e18 release. it's a horrible, laggy nightmare. i sincerely hope that our release pushes the wider fangame community one step closer to abandoning the base rmxp engine.
it's not quite such a leap forward in performance compared to e18.3, but it's still considerably smoother than that release, which itself was already a huge step up from e18.
runnin smooth like butta
what's the gameplay going to be like compared to e18?
this is actually a difficult question.
see, when we first started making postgame, we were hoping to make a reasonably fulfilling epilogue to the main game with some legendary quests that weren't just shoehorned in.
that is not what happened. we accidentally made a whole additional game.
we've taken to referring the split as e19m and e19p- "m" for main, and "p" for post.
let's talk about e19m first.
e19m is your standard pokemon league fare. i've made this comparison before, but the difference between e18 and e19m is like the difference between persona 5 and persona 5 royal. the pre-19 content is everything you already love, but better. e19m is the new shit you've been waiting for since dinosaurs roamed the earth. it's just more of the content you already love. i don't need to sell you on it.
my only caution in advance is that the experience has varied a lot between people. one person's favorite part has been someone else's least favorite part. from my perspective, that's fine! everyone has different tastes and it's only natural that the various story beats will hit people differently from each other. the reason i mention this in advance is because the last thing that i want happening to anyone playing this game is that they are so hyped that a speed bump in the narrative ruins the experience. i am hoping that some advance perspective is enough to prevent this. someone has really liked every part of e19.
pre-19 has been universally praised.
the changes certainly do not amount to an overhaul, but the revamped areas and story adjustments do wonders to the overall quality of the game. my first playthrough of reborn was back when e15 came out, like, six years ago. i remember how drawn into the game i was back then. pre-19 was a lighting reminder of everything i originally loved about the game on my first playthrough. ace has also been incredibly well received. i look forward to seeing them on the top of all your tier lists.
in the past, i've suggested replaying the game. at this point, i'd strongly recommend doing so. you'll miss out on some great content if you don't.
now let's talk about e19p.
e19p is very different from the rest of the game. a number of testers have commented that it feels like an entirely different game.
and... yeah. i think we accidentally made the sequel to reborn already.
e19p is structured around quests. they're basically just mini-episodic segments pertaining to a specific legendary.
it's also kind of a miracle that they exist! back when we started working on postgame, the idea of making a quest for every legendary made ame seize up with anxiety. we got past that by deciding we wouldn't make any legendary quests that we had zero interest in. there's also a handful of quests made and written by other dev team members. as a result, you get a huge variety of content at the expense of consistency.
(it might be a surprise to hear that the quests were causing a lot of anxiety considering the sheer length of postgame. that's fair! turns out the bigger problem was just the anxiety anyway.)
there's also an overarching plot that crosses between the individual quests. it is branch dependent. some of you are probably freaking out at the mention of branches. the breakdown of them is simple. there are two branches. one is not better than the other.
you're probably not going to believe me when i say that one's not better. i suspect that there will be a lot of opinions about which one is better than the other- there already have been some splits on this over the course of testing (and, for that matter, development). i just really want to stress that, from a development perspective, one branch is not better than the other.
e19p is also very battle heavy. the episodic segments are capped off by miniboss fights, with some character bosses sprinkled in as well. minor trainers practically don't exist. they have been fired.
it is, overall, a massive change in pace compared to the main game. treat it like an accidental sequel.
now i don't want to talk about this, but...
"hey cass! when's e20 coming ou-"
no no no no no.
ame wants out.
"hey cass! will there be any future updates?"
maybe! i'll still be working on deso/rejuv, and i've set up the scripts so that the three major games all run on the same scriptbase. this basically means that i can work on other games and occasionally update reborn along with them. there might also be some minor content updates, but this is a big, big maybe. i can't predict what will happen after we finish; i can only tell you what people are thinking about doing. who knows how it'll all actually work out.
the game is going to be done. finished. over. complete.
it's been 10 years since development first began. a little more than three years since the last major release.
even beyond the hype of a long-awaited game being released, this is also going to be a big community event.
there are people who have been in the community the entire time the game's been worked on. there are people who just found this game last week! there's all kinds of people in between. there are people playing this game who were 5 years old when ame started working on it.
what i'm saying is that this place will be drowning in feels. big waves of "wow holy shit this game is finished." people gushing about how much they like it. (hopefully!) be ready for that too.
as much as i'd love to release tomorrow, we still have to finish testing :(
we're all super hype for you to play it and see everything we've done.
there will still be a few more hype trains before community release, where I'll probably field questions and tell y'all how to prep.