In 2021, I released the Wildsilver Demo. In 2023, the full version of the game will finally be out. I think it’s time to tell you guys exactly what to expect from this game I’ve been calling the ‘magnum opus’ of GPG.
Wildsilver has been in development for a pretty long time. All creative endeavours with at least some ambition take ages to complete, of course — which is why very few of them actually get finished compared to the number of projects started. This is especially true for RPG Maker games, I guess, since it’s very easy to start an RPG Maker project, but hard to complete even a decent one.
I must admit that I have underestimated the amount of work a game of this scope would require. With some experience in finishing RPG Maker projects, I thought Wildsilver was comparable to Game Master Plus in terms of scope and therefore quite doable for someone like me. As far as the content is concerned, it may even be the case that my second game offers a little bit more than this one: more skills, items, enemies, locations, NPCs and so on. The polishing process, however, took way longer this time, and I’m sure you guys will be able to tell.
So, what is this shiny gem that I will finally release later this year? What is Wildsilver? Can we get an overview? Yes, you can!
As far as the story is concerned, the game is split into three acts. Without spoiling too much for those of you who play JRPGs for the thrilling plot, Wildsilver does indeed follow the general rule of starting somewhat simple, then slowly cranking up the epicness until the protagonist finds himself killing divine beings or galactic creatures and sacrificing everything in order to save the world. You know what I mean.
Originally, the first act was all I had planned for the game, telling the story about a girl’s endeavours to cure her sister from a mysterious illness. Little by little, I added more details to this, and from those details arose a second act — which is now about as long as the first one — and a third act, which is a bit shorter, but constitutes a spectacular finale.
The whole journey should be a pretty emotional one. There will be joy and sorrow, mystery and menace. But rest assured that, in the end, larger-than-life themes will be touched as well. That’s what we want from an JRPG, right? I hope the music, which is once again self-written and consists of more than 40 pieces with orchestral arrangements, will contribute greatly to the experience.
In Wildsilver, you will find yourself navigating a myriad of landscapes. You’ll hear the eerie echoes of dungeons and relax in the calm atmospheres of towns, and then there’s the alluring mystery of special areas. Each environment is designed to offer a unique and immersive gaming experience, carefully balancing the elements of story progression, challenges and character interactions. From a livid forest to the murkiness of a swamp, the depths of tranquil caves, almost-abandoned mines, the idyll of the village and the imposing grandeur of the king’s castle, Wildsilver will take you on an unforgettable journey.
As you might expect from a ‘Great Potion Game’, dungeons are the essence of your journey. Every dungeon presents an opportunity for exploration, with winding paths and secret areas. Treasures are waiting to reward the curious and daring. Every now and then, you’ll stumble into electrifying battles against a wide variety of foes. By defeating common enemies and elites, you gain experience and level up, find valuable loot, learn new skills and equip your party with mystic weapons and armour. This type of equipment grants powerful effects, but also comes with downsides, inviting you to strategise and find the combinations that work best for you.
Each dungeon concludes with an intense showdown with a boss, a test of all the skills and strategies you’ve learned along the way. Yeah, well, standard JRPG procedure, but hopefully as fun as it gets!
As you make your way out of the dungeons, towns offer a welcome respite. These hubs have shops where you can replenish your supplies, upgrade equipment and prepare for the challenges ahead in other ways. Townsfolk offer some lore, so you can extend your knowledge about the kingdom the story of Wildsilver takes place in. Fast-travel teleporters are also available in towns, allowing you to traverse vast distances instantly and revisit old locations with ease.
Between these typical, but complementary settings, special areas provide an additional layer of intrigue and immersion. Here, you may find yourself tiptoeing through stealth sections, avoiding the gaze of knightly, robotic guards or bandits. Important cutscenes unfold within these areas as well, propelling the game’s narrative and adding depth to your favourite characters.
To crown it all, a final dungeon contains reminiscences from the past, a battle against the most formidable enemy with a surprise of tremendous power, the ultimate test of your skills and an epic culmination of your adventure.
For those of you who want to know even more about the game, here’s a list of features:
- 15 hours of playtime
- epic and emotional story
- easy-going with some challenges
- ATB system (you can choose between wait and active mode)
- robotic companion (people seem to like Gilbert a lot)
- many ways of accumulating power
- many reversible customisation options (that is, equipment with effects)
- finisher skills
- clean level design and user interfaces
- smooth lighting, tilt shift, parallax water and other visual effects
- self-written soundtrack with 40+ tracks
- awesome sound effect for critical hits (this is more important than you’d think!)
- many cutscenes, but mainly short ones (I hope this is a good compromise)
- British English
- no time pressure (I didn’t like this in Majora’s Mask or Pikmin)
- no missable items (no need to keep a guide and double-check every 5 minutes)
- no Game Over (except for elite and boss battles)
If there’s any feature in this list you don’t like, let me know! Wildsilver should be fun for as many players as possible, so maybe there’s a way for me to give you the option to adjust the game to your preferences.
So, when will the game finally be released? Well, here we go: I feel very confident that this will be the year. In fact, there’s little left to do on the ‘must-do’ list.
A proper date is still hard to give, since at this point, it would be quite arbitrary. I’m still counting on a friend of mine to playtest the game one more time before I could take the next step with an easy mind.
However, I have made up my mind that this next step will consist in an early-access version! I would like to gather more feedback on skills, items, equipment and enemies before actually calling the game ‘ready for release’. I also want to give everyone who’s interested another chance to participate in the development of Wildsilver, sticking to the slogan ‘Let’s make this an awesome game!’ that I used back in 2021.
Besides, it just feels right to release something as soon as possible, since I have postponed the actual release multiple times now. I want to give you guys something playable that is better than the Wildsilver Demo, which, at this point, has little to do with the current state of the game.
Once the early-access version is out, you’ll get a proper release date too, I promise.
The good thing about games, in comparison to most other forms of art, is that the product can be worked on even after it has been published. Needless to say, this shouldn’t be a reason for developers to release unfinished games, and it’s certainly not my intention to publish a half-baked or lite version of Wildsilver to meet some deadline (which I have set myself anyway).
Wildsilver 1.0.0 will be the full experience. It will contain everything that it was always planned to include: heroes, skills, passives, items, equipment, enemies, locations, NPCs, music, sound effects, plugins.
That said, there’s plenty on the ‘should-do’ and ‘could-do’ lists. These are things that would or might be nice to have (some tasks still need evaluation whether or not such changes would actually improve the experience), but they aren’t necessary to enjoy Wildsilver.
However, in my opinion, you shouldn’t stop at 100% as a game developer if you have the chance to do more. I also think that it’s exciting when games add new features or polish elements some more after release. Some of my favourite games are updated or expanded regularly, and I love reading about the new things that are coming.
And so, while I doubt there will be a major expansion for Wildsilver, there will be patches. They will contain bugfixes whenever necessary, of course, but there should be a few surprises as well, be it tweaks, substantial buffs or nerfs or even new content.
If you play Wildsilver at release, maybe the changes made in patches will accumulate to an amount that would incentivise you to play the game again! This would be the ideal in the eyes of a developer, of course. So please look forward to some updates even in 2024!
To wrap up this overview, I’d like to say that we’re getting there with Wildsilver. Early access is coming, release will definitely be in 2023.
I can’t wait for you all to experience this game, which I already think is my best work to date. It tells a great story, is very polished in terms of how everything looks, and hopefully provides a lot of fun as you explore the environments, level up fighting monsters, and ponder the optimal builds for a boss.
I’m really looking forward to improving the game based on your feedback during EA and post-release, fixing any remaining issues as well as polishing and adding content.
Will you be participating in the early-access phase? Or will you wait for version 1.0.0 later this year? Is there anything else you’d like to know about Wildsilver?