As mentioned in my previous article, Klace Huskee is an industrious furry who loves to develop his own video games; his most recent work in progress is Winds of Change , a visual novel that seems to be shaping up quite nicely so far. While there was some talk about Winds of Change during my interview with Klace not many specific details were discussed. So today we’re going to be taking a more in-depth look at Winds of Change and see just what Klace has up his sleeve for us gamers, both furry and non-furry alike.
The General Synopsis
What exactly is Winds of Change, aside from a visual novel game with furry characters? I suppose “visual novel” might be a bit of a misnomer, though, as Klace has been adding more and more elements to the game that extend it beyond the visual novel genre. For example, there are elements of building relationships with your team that can even lead to developing romantic relationships, maintaining the reputation of the rebellion, and more open world elements – but we’ll get to those later.
Plot-wise, the game seems to take place in a world named Alestia, and it may or may not be taking place within the same universe as Major\Minor. There have been some similar elements such as Gearswords, massive fantasy blades that seem like they can manipulate souls and other energies, as well as the gear talismans showing up in the background of one location. It might just end up being like Final Fantasy, though, where each game has repeating elements but takes place in its own respective universe/world.
Alestia seems to be falling under the grasp of an organization named The Triumvirate. Not much info has been given about these guys, only that they’re the antagonists and the force The Rebellion is taking arms against. Though audiences have gotten a glimpse of Grand Inquisitor Sovy who seems to be hitting it off quite well with the fanbase; he’s even been named one of Klace’s favorite characters. Sean Chiplock provides his voice as well, and gives him a very nice, deliciously rich and villainous tone.
The player will be taking the role of a Seer who is able to receive visions granted to them by the spirits and will end up taking the lead of The Rebellion and have a hand in making major decisions that will impact not just The Rebellion and The Triumvirate, but the entirety of Alestia as well. Though how remains to be seen, as this is pretty much all that we’ve been told about the plot, and there’s been little given on the characters. Which is fine – don’t want to spoil all the good twists and turns with trailers after all!
A Closer Look at Gameplay
If there’s one thing that’s definitely impressive about Winds of Change, it’s the huge changes in gameplay from Major\Minor; the latter felt like a simple VN where the player was led around and was allowed to make choices every now and then, with some of them affecting relationships and even how the plot would turn out. Winds of Change, however, is going above and beyond being “Major\Minor 2.0” with a vastly expanded set of features.
Character interactions obviously will be coming back, but the relationship system is going to be expanded. Many interactions will have multiple choices covering different moods and tones, and relationships between comrades can be strengthened to the point that players will be able to date one or more comrades regardless of the player’s selected gender. There will also be “Banter Conversations” between comrades that players can watch that sees at least two comrades talking with each other and building their own relationships. In addition to character development, players can also get more info on the world and lore of Alestia, and interactions with your comrades can change how future conversations play out and may even impact potential choices.
ANTLER BOI DONE AND GOT A VOICE pic.twitter.com/8ZsdGzWRuP
— Klace 💖 (@Klace) January 30, 2018
A more open world approach seems to be in place as well. No more will players be led around from Point A to Point B – they can now travel freely to different areas in the world of Alestia, and at times players will be able to enter a sort of point-and-click mode where they can interact with the area they’re in. For example, early in the game the player, along with Valessa and Ulric, enter another character’s house looking for information. The player is then given the opportunity to search along with their friends by clicking on objects in the background which also opens up more opportunities to learn about the world of Alestia and her inhabitants.
The game will also feature a morality system; though unlike most games where morality systems tend to be fairly black-and-white Klace is aiming to have things be as ambiguous as possible. For instance, there’s no info or icon to let you know which side of the coin you’re choosing, and players won’t find out until the consequences are felt. Going fully with one morality will have its pros and cons as well, so going full Purity or Corruption will have shades of grey to it.
Winds of Change is aiming to make life in general easier for players, such as giving them the ability to save whenever they want – as opposed to the specific checkpoints of Major\Minor – and some nice textual additions too, such as a text history, an autoplay feature for text, being able to skip text, and having past choices grayed out to make things easier for those multiple runs.
On the visual and audio side of things, Klace has spared no expense gathering a talented team of folks together to truly create an awesome experience. Winds of Change features character art by Feyvaras – which yes, will include multiple expressions and portraits unlike Major\Minor – and beautiful background art by Chase Emilio. Fox Amoore returned as well to craft an epic theme tune, and Joel Steudler scores the rest of the game, complete with a full orchestra. In addition, every character – with the exception of the player character – will be fully voiced; heck Klace is looking into having even the books throughout Alestia have a narrator. The voices so far are fairly professional grade and include skilled talent such as the aforementioned Sean Chiplock providing Sovy’s deliciously evil voice.
Finally getting more voice acting in the game! 🙂
Making great progress now that the holidays are done.
Voices: Chris Sharpes, Sean Chiplock, Michael Malconian #indiedev #indiegames #voiceacting pic.twitter.com/s2QAcklgRS
— Klace 💖 (@Klace) January 22, 2018
A Tale for the Ages
Klace has also been keeping in touch with his fans and even has a Discord chat where folks who pledge to his Patreon can discuss what they’ve been seeing so far in the build and offer their suggestions and help catch bugs and other errors in the early builds he releases to his patrons. It also seems like he’s keeping an open ear too – that aforementioned scene where the player, Alessa, and Ulric look for clues? Originally the player didn’t get to look around and the two found what they were looking for on their own; but after his patrons suggested making it a point-and-click moment he changed the scene up in the following build and allowed players to interact with the scene.
It’s safe to say that Winds of Change is looking pretty impressive and a massive improvement over Major\Minor. I never imagined myself that the game would take off and expand to the extent that it has – when I played the first gameplay demo it was still looking like “Major\Minor 2.0” with better music and a more intriguing plot. Now, months down the road, the game’s looking less like a VN and more like a text-based RPG of sorts. It’s definitely an adventure I’m excited to try out. Klace keeps making it seem like this is going to be something big, and given what he’s been teasing on social media it seems like it’s definitely shaping up to fill those shoes.
Enough of my thoughts though – what are yours? Sound off in the comments below and let’s get a conversation going. Thank you for reading, and as always, I will see you all next time.