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:

June Update
15 days ago – Wed, Jul 03, 2019 at 01:39:28 AM

Hello backers! For our June monthly update we have a few more UI related things to share with you again. We're really pleased that you all liked the new look for the combat UI (which can be found here if you missed last month's update), and this time around we'll be sharing the management UI with you. 

Before getting to that though we wanted to share a prototype that I've been working on for character portraits. In our original plans, we were just going to have one design per class (eg. The Pyrolancer's portrait would have one specific look, and aside from hairstyles and colors it would never change), but from a player customization point of view, we think it would be better if we made 5~ faces per gender that are not class-specific, along with the ability to customize hair, hair color, armor, headgear, scars, tattoos etc. We'd like to hear your input on this and if you agree that it would be the way to go! If we do indeed go the latter route, we will have class icons in the corner of portraits so that there is no confusion about which class a character is. 

So with that said, I started with working on one single face type to establish a style for the portraits as seen below: 

I then started adding various layers which would be randomly assigned when a character is created in the game (with the ability for the player to later customize these things in the management screen). Here are some of the current possibilities:

Obviously we will have a few more choices for the various elements in the end, but for now as a proof of concept I'm fairly pleased with the amount of variety that we can get from a single face, and with 5~ per gender there should be plenty to work with to achieve unique looking characters within your roster. 

Moving on then, here's how the management UI will look from the overworld screen. Please bear in mind these are just mock ups, as Chris is still in the process of skinning the screens in the actual game, but the look will be virtually identical :)


As you can see in the Overview screen, there's quite a bit of space for various statistics to be displayed. If there is anything that you would like for us to possibly track and share with you the player, we'd love to hear your ideas! 

The UI is being designed with controller support in mind, so while it will probably be most efficient to use mouse & keyboard, you will have the option to use a controller on PC if that is your preference!

We hope you like the look of everything, we should be able to show it off in-game within the next couple updates. If you have any questions or suggestions about the UI (or the portraits) we're open to hearing it of course. Thanks for reading and see you next month!

May Update
about 2 months ago – Fri, May 31, 2019 at 07:49:14 PM

Hey everyone! This past month we've been working on designing and implementing the finalized UI/HUD for the game and it's coming along nicely. Most everything we had in place has been entirely revamped with a new style, though we've kept the same positioning for the majority of elements. You can see a comparison below:

Previous combat UI: 

Updated combat UI:


Here's a breakdown of all the changes:

Party

The allied party UI has changed in style to make use of character portraits in the future (the current blown up sprite portraits are just placeholder until then). We've gone with a Baldur's Gate style health fill to represent the damage taken for each character (the more red, the closer they are to death!), and two simplified bars to show the values for the Focus and Spirit pools respectively. The rotating particles represent whose turn it currently is, while the alternate frame border shows which character you're currently hovering/targeting. 

The enemy party UI has changed similarly, though it is smaller in scale so we can fit large groups of enemies onto the screen. Like before, targeting an enemy will display some info on their defense, and your chance of hitting them with the selected ability.

Target Information

The details of your current target remains mostly the same, but will now show the level of the target and some additional info on their status, such as whether they are channeling an ability and when they'll be done, or when their next turn is. (not all of this is implemented yet, the below is just a mock). 

Turn Order

The turn order has received some of the bigger changes, and is now more informative and interactive. When you select a target, they will also be now highlighted in the turn order so the player can more clearly tell them apart from similar enemies, in addition to seeing at a glance how close that target's next turn is. 

We've added a divider to separate combat rounds, and an indicator to show how many characters are left to act in the round behind what is currently visible(this will only show if there is not enough room to display everyone). Additionally we've color coded friends from foes (blue and red), added health bars to the turn order, and also icons to indicate whether it is a new turn for that character (a star), or whether they are finishing a channeled ability(a clock).  

Hotbar & Ability Tooltips

We've removed the health globe from the hotbar(we felt it was redundant), encompassed everything in a new fancy frame and re-positioned it back to the center of the screen. Red and blue markers beneath each ability now indicate whether that ability is classified as Offensive(red) or Supportive(blue). The white border indicates which ability you are hovering, while the flashing animation indicates that the ability is currently selected and ready to target someone. 

Our ability tooltips have also been updated to be more concise and offer important information at a glance. Beneath the name and ability type, Focus Cost, Ability Range and Cast Time are represented with unique icons. To the right, a quick animation shows viable usages for the selected ability. Beneath the main description displays any augments the ability has from that character's ability skill tree.

We hope you like the new look and features! We'll have more UI screens to be shared in the next couple updates. 

We'd like to leave you with a new full track by our composer, Alex Roe. This one is specifically an exploration track for the region of Godsvale. He's composed well over an hours worth of music thus far and we're excited to share this one with you(and more in the future!). Be sure to check out his youtube channel if you'd like to hear more of his work from The Iron Oath and other past projects! 

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

A friendly reminder that you can wishlist The Iron Oath on Steam now! Though all backers will be receiving a copy regardless, wishlisting the game still helps us out with visibility and we'd very much appreciate the further support :)

April Update
3 months ago – Thu, May 02, 2019 at 01:51:20 AM

Hey everyone! We have a few things to share in this month's development update. Firstly, as mentioned in the last update, Chris was able to start implementing the new enemies(12 new ones so far!) and their abilities into the game. It's nice to finally to see them in action, and on our end the process was quicker than we had originally thought it would be, which is always good :) Here's a look at a few of them:

1) The Risen Scourge using his Pulverize ability

2) The Outlaw Chief using Stagger

3) The Charion Behemoth using his Blaze attack

4) The Charion Behemoth's Fire Claw ability

5) Outlaw Chief and his Leap Strike attack

6) Destroying a pile of bones summoned by the Scourge's Boneyard ability (the destruction effect is just an early pass)

In addition to that, we've also been working on new enemy designs and animations. Here is a timelapse Nik has done for the "Brightmane King" enemy, and the designs for the various "Nullbeast" creatures.

Lastly, most of our recent attention has gone into finalizing the UI for the game. Other than the combat HUD, everything has been using placeholder elements for quite some time, so it will be nice to finally get all those screens properly skinned so we can share them with you over the next few months :)

Before going, we'd like to give a shoutout to our friends at 6 Eyes Studio and congratulate them on launching their tactical RPG Fell Seal! They had a great run in early access and the game is out now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. If you're a fan of Final Fantasy Tactics or Tactics Ogre we encourage you to check it out! You can buy the game on Steam HERE

March Update
4 months ago – Mon, Apr 01, 2019 at 01:34:42 AM

Hey everyone, we hope you all had a good weekend! This month's update is basically just a collection of some of the artwork we've recently completed for the game, as we're currently working on some features/mechanics we're not quite ready to share yet.

The Charion creature has hardened scales for protection and can breathe fire
The Charion creature has hardened scales for protection and can breathe fire

Risen Scourge Abilities

Dire Hoarwulf Abilities

Ancient Wealdere Abilities

The above animations were done by Rafael  (@rafaelborven), he's been a welcome addition to the team!

And finally here's a timelapse of the design process for one of the Wealdere creatures, a treant-like being:

Thanks for taking a look! Next month Chris will take some time to implement some of the recently completed enemies, so we'll be able to share some in-game looks at them in the next update!

February Update
5 months ago – Fri, Mar 01, 2019 at 01:27:33 AM

Hello backers! This past month we've done a lot of work on various features surrounding guild management, and designing the UI that goes with each.  We're still using placeholder graphics for the UI elements so unfortunately we can't share what these screens look like quite yet, but we'll be finalizing some of them in the upcoming months. 

The functionality for managing your Guild Council is now implemented. You can hire people for these roles by visiting towns, meeting potential candidates during missions or by assigning a retired character into one of the roles if they are capable of it. The jobs of the 3 councillors have undergone some small changes from when we last talked about it during our Kickstarter campaign. Each position has some passive benefits and tasks they can perform, with success and speed depending on their skill level.

  • The Battlemaster can trains troops by teaching positive traits, or help your soldiers get rid of unwanted ones. Recruiting a Battlemaster provides increased Experience gains for your roster, a larger selection of potential recruits in hubs, and insight into which traits a potential recruit has. 
  • The Emissary is your liaison between you and the different factions within Caelum. They can help you boost your reputation with a specific House, Faction, or the citizens within a city. Recruiting an Emissary provides you with more lucrative contract rewards, and gains the attention of the noble class, allowing you to accept contracts from a ruling House. 
  • The Spymaster comes in handy for uncovering plots by your enemies, or for tearing down the relationship between any two Houses and potentially inciting open war. Recruiting a Spymaster allows you to discern when a quest giver or potential recruit is trying to deceive you, and unlocks the ability to follow up on various rumors that they hear of through their underground networks. 

We've also been working on the report that your adviser will present to you at the end of each month. This report details your current financial situation and contains a complete breakdown of your income and expenses, which can be beneficial for future planning. The report also contains suggestions from your Guild Council if there are any pressing matters they want to bring to your attention. For example, if you are short on certain types of troops, have too many injured personnel, or if they have a suggestion on which House you should gain favor with, they will mention it to you in the report. 

We've also been updating our ability tool-tips to be more informative and streamlined. Our first pass on them had extra flavor text and details that made the important information difficult to quickly discern. We'll have more details on that in next months update!

In the art department we're continuing to finish designs and animations for the various enemies, here is a recently completed animation-set for the House Commander, once again done by @rafaelborven

Animation by @rafaelborven
Animation by @rafaelborven

 Crowdfunding Shout-out 

If you're a fan of tactical card games, we encourage you to check out Mars Horizon: Blast Off, where you run your own space agency and compete to complete the first crewed mission to Mars. They have just under a week remaining on their Kickstarter campaign and are very close to their goal!