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Monday, September 29, 2014

Magical Metals and History

Today I'm working on redoing the weapons list. To this end, I've had to think a bit about the weapons I want to make.

Most fantasy games just jump right in and have a pretty standard tier level. Wood, Bronze, Iron, Steel, Mithril, Diamond, Special.

This will not be what I do because that list is crap. To illustrate why I'm going to go over some different metals used in history and various mythical metals as well as my interpretation of them.

My tier list will go as such. Wood, Iron, Bronze, Steel, Orihalcum, Mithril, Adamant, Special.

First let's talk about why I don't rank Bronze below Iron. Simple answer: It's WAY FUCKING BETTER.

When people think of bronze they think of the ancient Greeks primarily. They think it's a more primitive metal and an iron sword is able to cut through it like a hot knife through butter. This is wrong - REALLY wrong.

Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. In decorative mixes it's very soft and is worthless for combat. In combat ready mixes it's roughly equivalent to mid-grade steel. It holds an edge less well than Iron but makes great armor. It is, however, pretty heavy compared to steel.

Bronze saw a massive rise in ancient Greece because they were able to strike up trade and get both copper and tin, the primary ingredients of bronze. Iron wasn't hard to access - Iron is EVERYWHERE. Crappy iron is very brittle though, and without decent refining techniques most iron is going to be crappy. The decline of bronze is pretty easy to explain. Once those techniques existed Iron was a lot cheaper than bronze and didn't rely on trade (because iron is everywhere). Once trade broke down and Greece started to go into decline Iron eclipsed it - but Iron was NOT better. There's a reason the "Iron Age" is considered a barbaric decline of the "Bronze Age".

The biggest differences between bronze and Iron can be summarized. Bronze bends, Iron breaks. Bronze is heavier than Iron. Iron can make longer weapons than bronze and holds an edge better, but Bronze is much more durable and doesn't have that whole rust problem and will last basically forever.

Steel is light, flexible, springy and tough. It also took a LOT of work to make properly before modern methods were invented and not a lot of it was made. It's flat out better than any other historical material though. Today we have various metals and alloys that do better than steel at certain jobs. Aluminum is lighter but not stronger than steel so it's very useful in aircraft (it was also EXTREMELY rare and valuable before the invention of a process to extract Aluminum from bauxite). Titanium is very strong but brittle, and so on.

Going by real material strengths you can pretty reasonably make a tier list for these materials. Wood, stone, and bone, Iron, Bronze, Steel. If you want to add other metals like Copper most go right below Iron and just about everything better than steel at a given job didn't exist before the industrial revolution.

Now onto mythical metals. There's a lot of those, but I decided to take three and make a simple tier list for them as well. Their existence is based on the idea that you can take the above materials and magically enhance them.

First, Orihalcum. Historically this was considered "gold bronze" and was a mythical metal that has been lost to time. It's fairly simple to figure out how this would be made in my world. It's an alloy of combat grade bronze and gold enhanced with magic to make it tougher. I would place it as stronger than steel but much heavier. In essence, it's bronze but moreso. It's somewhat traditional these days for Orihalcum to be 'anti-magic' so I have little issue with assigning that property to it. It's magically enhanced, magically resistant bronze. Great for armor,blunt weapons and magic defense.

Second, Mythril. The term was invented by Tolkien but is used by prettymuch everyone so I feel fairly okay with using it. The substance described in the Lord of The Rings series and The Hobbit was more like Aluminum than anything else but I decided to take a different path. I'm going to treat it as mundane silver that undergoes magical enhancement. Silver is historically a material famous for magical properties and associations with purity. Silver itself is fairly useless as a weapons material. I'm simply going to figure that magic makes it tough enough that it's similar to steel in strength but acts as an excellent channel for magic. So it'll only be slightly stronger than steel as a material for weapons and armor, but will be an amazing enhancer for magic.

Third, Adamant. Adamant is a term that comes from the ancient Greeks meaning "Untameable". Over time it has come to be associated with diamond and very hard metals. You probably heard of it first from Wolverine of the X-Men, but I assure you the term existed long before him. I'm going to treat it as high-grade steel magically enhanced with microscopic diamonds built into the material itself; a mix of steel and carbon nanotubes, sort of like Damascus Steel but magic. This makes it an especially great material for weapons and armor, but it is not especially resistant to magic and doesn't really boost magic either.

"Special" weapons are enhanced with high level magic and is made from a mixture of the above materials or special versions of the above materials, like Mithril forged from silver collected from Meteorites and enhanced with lunar light based magic or Adamant armor plated with Orihalcum to create armor that's extremely tough and resistant to magic. I'm tempted to throw in other materials from myth but I feel these three cover the bases well enough.

 A lot of this is presented fairly matter of fact because I can't afford to take too much time to write out this post, but do feel free to look up some historical mythical metals and real metals. My advice? Go look up ancient China. They were on the verge of the industrial revolution for much of their history and had a truly impressive amount of amazing materials. They were making and coating steel and bronze with Chrome - a material not used for plating metals in the world at large until the 1800's - during the Qin dynasty. That's 2000 years ago.

A few periods in history have some incredible peaks in terms of the metals and materials they can make. The Ancient Greeks, India's Golden Age, the Chinese at various points and the Middle East during its golden age all produced incredible materials. I strongly encourage you all to go look it up and enjoy it! It's truly fascinating to see how people throughout history have made miracles out of their land and the forge carries a special kind of magic all its own.

Now does any of this really have much of an impact on a porn game? Nnnnnope. But it sure is fun to talk about!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Possible Deadlines

So here's what's going on. My day jobs have sadly been interfering with me having free time. Fortunately it is now Autumn, which means I will get free time once again. Free time is good, because that's when I work on the game.

One thing I've realized while I've worked on this is that I work best with deadlines, even if they're sorta iffy ones. So here's one: I want to finish fixing the game from the conversion by the end of October. Then I want to finish Chapter Five by the end of December and provide a release right around Christmas. I cannot GUARANTEE that these will be the release periods, but I'll do my damndest to make sure they are if I can.

I want to thank everyone for the continued support and donations. I haven't set up my Patreon yet as I didn't want to start regularly taking money until I could sit down and make sure I have the free time to work.

Some side notes: When the next version comes out I will release a trailer for the game with art done by the awesome Mindwipe. He did the animation in the opening for free, so please thank this guy. He is fucking AWESOME. I have a rough skeleton design of it done, narrated by Nekochan of badkitty games. It needs audio editing and gameplay footage. When it's done it'll go up on youtube.

Speaking of Nekochan I've taken over editing the audio for the podcasts. Not having time for working on Overwhored means not having time to work on editing audio. Hopefully those of you that enjoy the Indecent Podcast will get to hear more of us soon.

Also my girlfriend was ticked I took credit for the names on a notepad idea a while back. I've avoided mentioning that she exists to respect her privacy up until now but since she wanted me to give credit where it was due she gets the credit for that.

Thanks again for being fans, everyone.