The Iron Oath: Dark Turn-based Tactical RPG

Created by The Iron Oath

A dark turn-based RPG with a focus on tactics and the management of your guild within a dynamic world. (Windows, Linux & Mac)

Latest Updates from Our Project:

November Update
10 days ago – Sat, Dec 01, 2018 at 01:08:50 AM

Hey everyone. This months update will be a little shorter than usual but things are still moving along nicely. I have recently been able to shift focus back to artwork, drawing visuals to match the enemy designs that were laid out last month. There's a lot to go through but I'm excited that we're at a point where I can ramp up and focus on asset production. In saying that, I've recorded and uploaded the design process of a couple enemies that will round out the "Outlaw" enemy group.

The first is the Outlaw Chief, the boss enemy of the Outlaw grouping who will appear frequently throughout the game:

The second is the Outlaw Bladedancer, a higher tier enemy who uses her unique weapon deal a large amount of damage if left unchecked. 

I'll record a few more timelapses to share next month as I continue to work my way through the list of enemies :)

Chris has worked on various features during the month of November: continuing to tweak the Overworld simulation; implementing character leveling, ranks and aging; and revisiting the aspects of the Line of Sight feature that were previously left unfinished (such as specific obstacles and allies providing "cover", and tweaks to enemy AI so they play by the rules!). 

Finally, a friendly reminder that you can wish-list The Iron Oath on Steam (link here), which helps bring visibility to the game. We'd very much appreciate it! See you all next time :)

October Update
about 1 month ago – Thu, Nov 01, 2018 at 01:56:52 AM

Another month has passed! We're still hard at work everyday on The Iron Oath and making great progress. This month we wanted to give you an update on some of the systems we recently implemented into the game, starting with the Injury System.

All of your characters are mere mortals, and as such they are susceptible to a variety of injuries that can be sustained during combat which will reduce their effectiveness or place them out of commission for a specified period. Our design philosophy behind this system is to encourage the player to make use of their full roster and experiment with different classes and combinations, as well as giving consequences to actions (or inactions) committed during a battle.

Injuries can be sustained in two different ways. The most common is when a character is “Downed” and reduced to 0 HP. An injury is automatically applied when this occurs, and its exact nature and location is defined by a series of dice rolls that:

  • Determines the zone of the Injury  
  • Determines the specific body part within the selected zone  
  • Determines the grade of severity (which can be influenced by their injury history, age, attributes, traits, and equipment)

The second way to sustain an injury(or worsen an existing one) is by taking damage that is a high percentage of a characters max HP. Placing a fragile mage in front of an enemy with a great warhammer would risk a trip to the Infirmary, especially if they land a critical hit!

As mentioned, there are four main zones on the body where injuries can occur: the Head, Torso, Arms and Lower Body. Each zone has many possible injury types, and those types apply penalties to your characters depending on the severity of them. Many(but not all) injuries will also be accompanied by Lacerations, graded as Light, Deep and Severe. A character with a laceration will take damage whenever they perform a combative action aside from Waiting. If not properly treated, and depending on the grade, a Laceration can worsen and lead to Complications in the form of Infection, Fever and Death. The former two apply attribute penalties to the character, while the latter is pretty self explanatory! Below is a chart of all possible injuries and their respective penalties.

When an injury is sustained in combat, you can apply a Bandage to Stabilize the injury and treat any Lacerations, which prevents them from worsening to a higher grade for the time being. If you’re out of Bandages, you’ll need to do your best to shelter that character until the mission is over, or risk their injury becoming worse and possibly fatal.

The recovery time varies for each possible injury. The effects could last as little as a month, but more severe injuries could sideline a character for up to a year(which sounds longer than it really is! lol). Apart from Bandages which are temporary solutions, some injuries don’t require any medical intervention and will heal on their own without issue. However, more severe injuries will require treatment, either by your guild’s Physician or at a City’s Infirmary if the injury is beyond their capabilities. Even with treatment, sustaining a severe injury can sometimes have a lasting and permanent effect(in the form of a Trait) on the character, such as the loss of an eye or an ear.

In addition to the implementation of Injuries, Chris has been working more on the world simulation code off and on for a few months now, and it’s starting to all come together nicely. This has been a HUGE undertaking and the amount of work we’ve put into it should hopefully translate into making the world of Caelum a very interesting place, with a lot of room for replayability. Houses and cities will rise and fall, Kingdoms will wage war and nobles will plot to sabotage their counterparts. Through quests, you will be able to assist Houses in their endeavors and help swing the outcome of these events one way or another. We'll continue to have more to say on these aspects of the game in the future as we get closer to release and It’s something we’re planning to show off in a devlog video at some point.

This past month Nik has been finalizing the enemy pool and the respective abilities of each type. Enemy variety(both their looks and mechanics) is of great importance to us, and we’ll have some visuals to show off over the next couple months for that. There's been plenty more smaller tasks we've tackled this month but those were the major things we wanted to highlight for this update. See you next time, and Happy Halloween :)

Expo Build now available on BackerKit
3 months ago – Sun, Sep 23, 2018 at 12:12:45 AM

Hey everyone, as promised we're distributing the expo build today to our beta tier backers. If you’re eligible, you can claim the build by doing the following:  

  • Login to your BackerKit Account (https://www.backerkit.com)  
  • Click the ‘Review Details’ button next to The Iron Oath  
  • Click on the ‘Get your Digital Downloads’ button  
  • Download the Build. 

As an aside, there are still many who have yet to claim their Private Discord Invite, and you can find it in the Digital Downloads section as well.  If you haven't completed the survey(it was sent out last year), you can do so here to create your BackerKit account. We hope you guys enjoy the build and we would be appreciative if you could leave your feedback in the Discord! 

We have a couple things we'd like to mention about the build itself before you begin playing. Since this is an expo build, we're usually standing next to the person playing and can easily answer any questions they have. This isn't a tutorial mission, so there's a lot to take in when you begin! 

The balance of the build isn't necessarily representative of the final game and was crafted to give a brand new player a challenge(but for an experienced player it is fairly easy). You'll notice that the Focus cost of abilities is very generous and you can basically use anything you wish without fear of depleting your Focus. We did that to let players have fun with each class and get to know their abilities without having to manage Focus costs. Obviously that will be a major factor in the final game, but for this build it's not something you need to worry about!  

There are 5 Health Potions you can pick up in the first chest that can be used both inside and outside of combat. If you find any bugs you can hit F12 to report it and describe(if possible) what you were doing when it occurred. 

Have a great weekend and we look forward to hearing your thoughts! :)

September Update: Concerning the release date and more
3 months ago – Mon, Sep 17, 2018 at 12:15:56 AM

Hello backers! We have a number of things to share with you today, along with some good news and bad news, the latter of which we’ll address first as it’s most relevant to you.  

We’ve come to realize over the last few months that our initial timeline was too ambitious for the game’s scope, and even though we’ve made good progress overall, the game will unfortunately not see a release in 2019. This also means that the closed beta which we had initially planned for next month will be pushed back to a later date. We have an idea of the new release window, but an exact date won’t come for some time as we have many new factors to consider. We do sincerely apologize to all of you who have supported us and were looking forward to the beta/launch. We hope you can understand our position of wanting to deliver The Iron Oath in a state that we are proud of, without compromise to its various aspects of gameplay. We’d also like to reassure you that this is not a financial decision and the project is not in any danger; we’ll both continue to work full-time on the game until its completion.  

So what’s the good news? We have a lot of exciting announcements in store, but we can’t quite spill the beans on them yet. In short, we’re firmly in a position that will allow us to complete the game to its full extent and deliver it to a wider audience. We believe we’ve taken the best course of action to ensure the game’s success and we hope the coming announcements will soften the blow of the delay. I know the above is all very vague, but please bear with us :)  

In lieu of the beta next month, we’ll be making our current expo build available starting next weekend to our beta tier backers so we can collect their feedback. We'll post a separate update for that once it's ready for download. We’re also planning to make another pre-beta build available some time in the first half of 2019. For the rest of our backers, we'd like to share with you a gameplay video taken from the build:

Last month Chris took the build to the Orlando IX convention where hundreds of people had a chance to sit down and try out the game. Overall it was a little busier than our experience at DreamHack, and the game was once again well received which is always a good sign! Here’s some pictures from the event:  

As for what we’ve been doing the last month and a half: Chris has continued to work on the Overworld’s gameplay experience, working on tasks such as sea travel; visiting city hubs and interacting with the different buildings in each; and the flow for accepting, completing and turning in different types of quests. Last month I completed all the lore and world history, and have just recently finished a large task focusing on the logic for Rulers and the different decisions that are available to them during the course of the world’s simulation. We’re getting close to a point where we’ll be able to sit back and watch the game’s world progress through hundreds of in-game years. It’s pretty exciting to think about all the gameplay possibilities that will present themselves to the player!

The game’s soundtrack has been coming along nicely, and Alex has been continually creating some awesome music to accompany the game. Here’s a short clip of one of his recent tracks for the city hubs of Winter’s Reign:  

Finally I’ve uploaded an art timelapse that I completed earlier this summer. I haven’t been able to upload as many as I’ve wanted due to some unfortunate Aseprite crashes while recording. If it keeps happening I’ll have to start recording my entire process and editing down the video so it’s watchable! Either way there will be lots more coming in 2019 as we continue to fill out the game’s content. 

We’d like to once again apologize for the situation and ask for your patience and understanding. We do believe the extra wait will be worth it in the end!

July Update
5 months ago – Sun, Jul 29, 2018 at 12:31:18 AM

Hey guys, here with our July update for The Iron Oath! This month's update is a little short as we're working on things that we can't easily show off quite yet such as finalizing the lore, main quest campaign, working on our "Narrative Design Tool", and more work on the overworld simulation aspects of the game.

A look at our tool being used to create content for The Iron Oath.On the left is a searchable list of cutscenes, quests, dialogue, etc. On The right is a group of nodes grouped by a quest.
A look at our tool being used to create content for The Iron Oath.On the left is a searchable list of cutscenes, quests, dialogue, etc. On The right is a group of nodes grouped by a quest.

Our narrative design tool has been fleshed out to accommodate everything we'll need to make hundreds of quests for The Iron Oath. The tool is used to make everything involving dialogue, cut scenes, world events, and quests with as few lines of scripting as possible. The goal has been to make it as easy for us to make lots of quests but still have access to loads of variables and functions in game. The tool exposes functionality for us to play animations for characters, branching dialogue trees, branching quests, play sound effects, alter the state of the game in a variety of ways, and loads more.

A simple quest created using our Narrative Design Tool
A simple quest created using our Narrative Design Tool

As for the world simulation elements of the game we have made some great progress. Previously those elements were prototyped in some external programs but they have been integrated into the main game now and it's really exciting to see the simulation play out. Factions will trade or fight over the limited resources in the world. Alternatively they might form new alliances and overthrow a ruler not providing for their people. We'll share more progress of that in the future once we get the art more finalized. Right now it's still using programmer art which as you can imagine looks incredible! ;)

BackerKit and Surveys

At the end of this month we'll be closing the BackerKit store so it will be the last chance for anyone to get the game at the $15 price tag. Additionally there are still over 100 people who have not yet completed their BackerKit surveys. We sent out a reminder email last week and will continue doing so until we lock down the surveys(exact date TBA). If you haven't received an email and have not completed your survey, you can request it to be resent here: theironoath.backerkit.com

Lastly if you haven't already done so, please take a moment to wishlist us on Steam as it helps with the game's visibility. Thanks and have a great weekend!