Sabotage Studio showcases the traditional-yet-modern systems of its upcoming JRPG tribute.
Sabotage was established with one goal: to present our own “definitive editions” of the games we grew up loving. We combine retro design and modern aesthetics to create experiences that capture the essence of games we love while removing any elements that might hinder their relevance today.
We started by establishing some guidelines for our turn-based RPG. There would be smooth transitions from combat to navigation, no random encounters and no grinding. Let’s get into combat, which is a vast topic.
Sea of Stars combat relies solely on turn-based combat, without time limits. This allows the player to make their own decisions and avoids pressure. Each character has four spells/skills with different damage types and patterns. These can be combined with other characters’ moves.
MP has a low cap, but it regenerates when used in regular attacks. This creates a flow where magic can be used in regular fights, while big heavy hitter spells must be paced with regular attacks when fighting bosses.
Every fight is planned to provide a unique enemy pattern that the Solstice Warrior can optimize. Other combat features are combined into a dance of utility and damage.
All enemies who mount special skills or spells will have a bar with locks containing an icon representing a specific damage type. Breaking locks will make the next move less effective, and breaking will cancel it.
Each of the six characters can do damage in one or two types. They are further supported by their skill/spell kits which offer pattern variations (like multi-hit or AoE).
To make turn-based combat more interesting, press the action button in time with the animations to increase damage output and reduce incoming damage.
You can influence the outcome of almost every combat action by pressing the right button at the right moment. This applies to any action, including bouncing a lunar missile back and forth, blocking enemy attacks, or fetching a better snack from a backpack.
All combat actions generate energy, which eventually turns into combo points. These can then be used to purchase dual attacks that combine the damage and patterns of both characters.
The only cost of combo points (no MP) is their loss at the end of the battle. There are no negatives to spending them.
Regular attacks produce “live mana”, which can be absorbed by any character who needs it. You can stack boosting up to three times. Each boost adds a portion to the character’s following action. This is useful when a character has a unique type of magic damage, but they have no MP.
Hotswap with no friction
The battle party can only display three characters, but you’ll have the ability to swap for any character in the back lane at your will. It doesn’t even need to spend a turn.
What other benefits does Sea of Stars bring to the table?
We have no time for this today. However, we want to give you a brief overview of critical systems and considerations related to the game’s vision.
- Unshackled Traversal You can swim, climb, vault, jump, or lift ledges. At the same time, you navigate seamlessly across the globe with a navigation system based on platformer knowledge and break away from the traditional bound-to-the-grid tileset movement.
- Dynamic lighting with full-on effects: We have created a custom render pipeline that allows you to create a stunning world by pushing the boundaries of 2D pixel art games.
- A story-rich adventure: Dozens of original characters and story arcs will lead you on an unforgettable journey. Sea of Stars explores various classic themes of adventure, friendship and humour. It also has all the surprises you would expect from a Sabotage production.
- You can touch the world of the Sea of Stars. If you are looking for something different, there are many options. You can sail, fish, the cook, stop by a tavern and listen to a song, or play the tabletop game “Wheels “…”.
Sea of Stars will come to PS4 and PS5 next spring. Keep checking back!