Olive Branches is my primary project right now. It’s a Japanese style RPG inspired by the Final Fantasy games of the late 90s – games that heavily influenced my love of narrative-based video games.

Synopsis

Olive Branches is a game about hubris, downfall and redemption. Inspired by ancient Greece, the world and story of the game centres on Olive, princess of a kingdom under siege by an invading force. When she tries to control the powers of the gods to do her bidding and win the war, disaster strikes, having catastrophic effects. With the help of two monster hunters who were in the wrong place at the right time, Olive must fix her mistake and bring hope back to the world – but her actions did not go unnoticed.

Olive

Full Name: Pallas Olive Panthea
Age: 17
Hometown: Panthea City

Personality:
Olive was born into privilege and her attitude shows it. She sees herself as rightful heir to the throne and will do just about anything to live up to that standard.

 

Dunnell

Full Name: Dunnell Desma
Age: 22 (twin of Espra)
Hometown: Zephyros

Personality:
Dunnell is a chill dude, and is happy to go with the flow – of course, if anyone he cares about is in danger, he will defend them with his life.

Espra

Full Name: Espra Desma
Age: 22 (twin of Dunnell)
Hometown: Zephyros

Personality:
Espra loves her home and her brother, but has always dreamed of travelling the world. However, as one of the strongest in Zephyros, she feels it is her duty to protect the town from monsters and bandits.

Mechanics

If you’ve played Final Fantasy VI, VII, VIII, IX or X-2, you’ll be familiar with the Active Time battle system. It’s a system that is not as fast-paced as most games, allowing you a little time to think about your strategy – though not waiting forever. You enter commands via a menu system and then watch your characters make their move. It’s turn-based, meaning an enemy cannot interrupt a move with their own.

In my opinion, this system is what drew me to jRPGs, and I feel that more modern games from Square Enix have cast aside the ATB for more action-based play. They have their place, but I feel that they have left people like me behind in striving for real time battle. That’s why I’ve chosen to make this game in the first place.

Now, some RPGs have a jobs system – the character can switch between roles and learn different skills based on that role. Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy X-2 are both good examples of this job system. Olive Branches will have a similar system, known as the Invoke system. Part of the story is the ability to borrow the powers of the Greek gods and use their magic – characters do this by “invoking” a god – taking on the behaviour of that god while in battle and being able to draw upon their spells. In time, the character will learn these spells and have access to them without invoking. Each character has specific gods they will be able to invoke, acquired throughout the game. For each god, they receive an amulet that they can equip to gain access to the invocation, and learn spells.

Technical

Olive Branches is being made with the Unity game engine, with the help of ORK Framework, a fantastic plugin that does a lot of the mechanical heavy lifting, so I can focus more on art and story.

    

Other software I’m using: Cinema 4D, Silo, Curvy 3D, Mindtex, Photoshop, Illustrator, Audition, Mixcraft, Celtx, MindMaple, Dia, Excel, zBrush.