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Dance of Steel & Bone - An RPG/Shmup/Beat-Em-Up Hybrid

You start the game as a 9 year old boy. (As the game progresses, it keeps track of your game hours and you age every five hours, which includes a slight stat increase. Every ten years, you get a new portrait and sprite to reflect your age.) You have been accepted into an elite military academy where you will hone your specialty, as you have been gifted in the art of combat since your birth. You board an airship (shown in mode 7 graphics) which takes you to the school. There, you complete registration by marking down your name, "class" (it'll be called something else in the game), and elemental alignment (natch). Then you pair up with three other new arrivals and go on to the training area, which will act as a tutorial for the overworld battle engine (the non-mech portion). You spend a few hours (real-time hours) at the school learning survival and combat techniques, including fishing and hunting mini games. Later, during class, someone mentions seeing a large airship in the window. As you go to look out, your instructor shouts to get away from the window, and then... it's a bombardment. The school is shelled heavily and decimated. Using your wits, quick reflexes, and tech, you manage to get out before the school collapses. Teachers are using their tech (sword, artillery or elemental) to fight swarms of mini mechs the airship dropped. They also sprayed a chemical into the air that causes immediate genetic mutation in animals (similar to Parasite Eve transformations). You join in the battle, fighting the newly created monsters using your tech. Then, you see a downed mini mech. You pull out the dead pilot and start it up. It speaks to you in a sarcastic, hyperactive tone. It asks if you want to dance and then says "watch, then follow" before displaying button inputs on the screen. When you match them, it synchs your tech with it's available armament. You then engage in battle with other mechs. Soon after, the enemy gives the signal to retreat and, as quickly as the battle was begun, it is over. Your school is a smoking ruins. You vow vengeance for the dead schoolchildren, and to put an end to the war. Your journey will take you through war-torn countrysides, past peasants suffering the effects of shortages and shellings, to the seats of power of those waging war, and into the very heart of the enemy kingdom.

The game is broken up into exploration and turn-based combat as a human (since mechs require fuel, which is limited), short mech segments that are either side-scrolling beat-em-up style, vertical or horizontal shmup-style, one-on-one QTE/rhythm, and then turn-based boss battle in your mech. The better you do in the early stages, the more HP you'll have, and less HP the boss will have, at the end segments. There will be three classes to choose from: sword (which includes any bladed weapon), artillery (from guns to bombs and everything in between), and elemental (magic users, divided up by their elemental alignments, with the different elements having status effects associated with them - ability up with fire, slow and stop with ice, etc). While in the mech, this will translate to various things a mech could do (like fire abilities would use a flamethrower in the arm). While all tech users will have an elemental alignment, the elemental class is the only one that has status effects, and the only one that can have more than one element per skill (some skills use two or more elements). The elements are Fire, Water, Earth and Bolt, as well as Yin/Yang which is healing and status effects (everyone can use Yin, but only elemental users can use Yang). - I might include an apothecary/chemist class that would be focused on Yin/Yang, but I'm not sure yet. Your skills level up the more you use them, and on the first level up you'll have the option of picking between one of two new skills to acquire. In this way, even if you pick the same class through multiple playthrus you can have a different experience each time. Equipment drops are also randomized with a chance to get an item with a special prefix or suffix, or both, similar to Diablo. Your mech will also have upgradable parts, and these will affect its appearance.

I have a short tech demo of the game here: https://mobiusclimber.itch.io/dance-of-steel-bone-demo Not much is done at this time, but I have started to implement the skills and item drops.


Looks like quite a lot of fun.
I like the idea of picking my own skills in battle when I leaved up the ice skill, that is very "cool"!
Also loved your mini shooting game after the ninja fight; it's very fun and makes a n-"ice" change, very good! :D
I will look forward to seeing more from you :)