5 days ago
– Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 11:04:14 PM
Hey everyone, we're back with another monthly update and today we're going to talk about how our dungeon layouts are created. We originally had been using a system that created layouts dynamically when entering a dungeon, but we've recently decided to go with a more hand-crafted approach so we have a little more control over everything. Here's an example of what creating a layout looks like from our end.(note this isn't an actual layout that will be used, it was more of a "stress-test" to make sure everything functioned properly despite some awkward placement!)
Since the mapping part is fairly quick and easy, our plan is to make hundreds of layouts for every environment, making it be extremely unlikely to ever get a repeat.
Each box on the grid corresponds to a specific tile for that environment. All the tiles transition seamlessly into one another(with the exception of isolated rooms) and we can place them in any fashion we want. The sewer tileset below is comprised of 21 pieces at the moment. We'll add a few more down the road but it's functional enough for now!
Each tile also has a number of prefabs within Unity that are decorated in various ways with props. Based on the mission and enemies you will be facing, the game will choose a prefab that matches the theme.
Finally, things such as obstacles or traps(also influenced by the enemies you will face - traps in particular) that occupy hexes will be randomly placed upon entering the dungeon. We're hoping all of this will result in a good amount of replayability for every environment!
We're continuing to work towards our next demo phase and are getting fairly close. We also have a couple new additions to combat that we will touch on in the next update. Hope you all have a great weekend and we thank you for your continued support! :)
Before going, we have two great looking tactical RPG's here on Kickstarter that we'd like to turn your attention to.
The first is Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics. It’s a clever mashup of WW2 and the Cthulhu Mythos. The original Achtung! Cthulhu pen-and-paper role-playing game smashed its goals on Kickstarter five years ago. It’s now back, bigger and more exciting than ever, and it’s going digital!
Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics is a turn-based strategy RPG where the player fights a desperate battle in the shadows of World War II against the Nazis and their inhuman ailles. The developers are looking for some extra support to add the Pathfinder Demon Hunter warriors into the game - and your support buys war bonds, guns, ammo, and spiritual warfare to fight the good fight!
The next is Bevontule, a turn-based, role-playing game that seamlessly integrates classic RPG genres and elements into a cohesive and novel gameplay experience. Featuring an engaging storyline, unique tactical combat, a progression system reminiscent of old-school JRPGs – and numerous Western influences as well – Bevontule offers massive environments and open-world exploration in a modern, 3D art style.
They're currently almost 40% funded, and with 12 days left to reach their goal they could use your help!
24 days ago
– Mon, Jan 29, 2018 at 01:01:35 AM
Happy New Year to everyone! As mentioned in our last update, Chris took the game to Otronicon a few weekends ago. His report and some pictures of the event are below. We're currently working towards a larger build aimed for March, and we'll share some video of it once complete. I mentioned last month that we were going to show how our dungeon layouts are generated from our various environment tiles. I do have a couple more tiles I would like to tackle before then so I'm going to save that for the February update. All in all, things are starting to come together and it's pretty exciting for us :)
Hey everyone, Chris here. Earlier this month I took a short demo to the local Otronicon convention to showcase some of the game's combat to attendees. The audience there skewed a little younger than our core demographic but we met some awesome people and got some great feedback. My favorite from the weekend was a kid, who was probably around 10, telling me how much he liked it because it reminded him of Mario + Rabbids. I guess that game is a pretty good jumping off point for kids to start down the path of tactics games haha.
On another note, I've been hard at work continuing off from last month where I built out our quest system and now I've incorporated all our dialogue into using Yarn as well. Yarn is a great tool that will help us create tons of quests and dialogue very quickly. I'm looking forward to showing off more around that down the line. Aside from that I've been working on the world map and how quests/events are handled in towns and while traveling on the road. Also fixed several bugs that I'd seen during the course of people playing the game at Otronicon.
As we gear up to our next major milestone you'll probably see us start posting more on social media and in discord with updates, gifs, and screenshots which should continue through the release of the Beta towards the end of this year.
2 months ago
– Sat, Dec 23, 2017 at 09:17:02 PM
Hey everyone, another month has flown by and we’re back with our second monthly update to let you know what we’ve been up to. I’ve continued to work on animations for the past few weeks, and here’s a look at the animations for a character getting hit, getting knocked down, and dying during combat. The death featured here is the standard death animation(minus blood, which is added in game), the violent ones will be completed later :)
After Christmas I’ll be doing some tileset work in advance of our demo at Otronicon in Orlando, and in the next update we’ll show you how our dungeons are actually created.
In case you missed our tweet about it, we published our Kickstarter postmortem over at Gamasutra last month, check it out here if you’re interested.
Hey Chris here with my December update. This month has been very productive from the point of laying the groundwork for producing all the story content for the game, from dynamic world events to branching quest chains.
I spent some time looking into a few possibilities on how to tackle the tools we'd need to develop all this content. Originally I had planned to adapt our dialogue engine I had been modifying to suit our needs and had it mostly up and running and working. It was fairly easy to use but I quickly realized down the road it would need to adapt quickly to the needs of individual quest lines and events. As in we might realize we need to expose more variables to tweak in game or add support for some feature or whatever the case might be. Retrofitting the current tool could work but it would be time consuming to modify not to mention the time to get back up to speed with its inner workings could provide challenges and delays. Long story short I looked around online and found a tool called Twine used for creating sort of simple text based games which then led me to a tool that was based off Twine called Yarn. Yarn is extremely easy to modify and work with to our needs and it took me no time at all to get it up and running in our game. Using the built in scripting abilities of Yarn we're able to do just about anything in The Iron Oath we can dream up with quick modifications. So now we're basically ready to start creating quests and dynamic events as we see fit which is very exciting to start to see everything coming together.
Aside from that I also implemented some of the new animations Nik has been working on and started a pass on some combat balancing but it's still early for that. Fixed a lot of bugs surrounding generating dungeon layouts, AI issues, and other assorted UI problems. I also took some time to clean up a lot of placeholder code. Previously to change which tileset a dungeon loaded into required a bunch of small hacks to get it to work right but since I wanted the newly created quests to be able to set which tileset could be associated with it I did the work to properly implement it. So now determining which tileset to load is just a matter of changing 1 variable in the Yarn editor for a node associated with a quest.
Next month I'll be looking at implementing more of the newest animations as well as getting the sewer tileset closer to finalized in its implementation. Also if you live in Orlando, I would like to invite you to come to Otronicon. I'll be there January 12th-14th showing off a build of The Iron Oath. Otronicon is a little more geared towards just being a science convention but some local Orlando indie developers will be there so I wanted to represent as well.
We wish you all a merry Christmas and happy holidays, and we’ll be back with more in the new year :)
3 months ago
– Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 12:56:48 AM
Hello backers! Over the last month we’ve settled into a nice development groove. I(Nik) have mostly been focusing on character sprites while Chris has been tackling various tasks and he’ll tell you about it later in this update. We’re currently working towards a demo build that will be playable at the Otronicon Expo in Orlando on January 12th.
My most recent task has been finalizing the design and animations of the first 4 classes. Each class has undergone some minor visual changes such as the Pyrolancer’s head and the Valkyrie’s weapon. I didn’t change too much overall and mostly just wanted to clean things up a bit by improving the lighting/shading and getting rid of stray pixels. Here’s a before and after of each design.
One thing that was mentioned frequently during the campaign was the “asthmatic” look of the idle animations when characters weren’t in combat. I decided to get rid of the breathing animations entirely(as I wasn’t a huge fan of it myself) and rework the idles to be a lot less distracting(mostly limited to some cloth/hair sway). I may revisit the breathing animations later on and see if I can make it look more natural and less like they’re constantly gasping for air, but for now I don’t want to spend too much time fiddling with it.
The next animation that I completely redid was each characters “ready state” animation. The previous animation was basically the same as each character’s idle with some bobbing added in, which some voiced their dislike over. While I haven’t completely gotten rid of the bobbing motions, I’ve given each class a unique ready stance that makes the bobbing look more natural. Here’s a look at both the idle and ready animations, including the transition back and forth.
The newest addition to the game is a run animation for each class. We’re not entirely sure at this point whether or not we should use it during the exploration phase(either replacing the walk, or having it alongside as a toggle), but it became apparent to us that it was needed for combat. As one backer pointed out, it looked a little odd having your characters casually walk up to the enemies prior to attacking them. The run animation adds a sense of urgency to your heroes, and as a bonus speeds up the movement phase which is always a plus.
Speaking of speed, we have also added the ability to increase the speed of combat by holding spacebar, with the multiplier being customizable in the options menu. This was another feature that many were vocal about, and we understand that not everyone wants to sit through a lengthy turn phase. Here is a comparison video that shows off the feature:
I’m just about done with the first 4 classes and am currently finishing up some new ability animations. Afterwards I’ll be moving on to some enemy animations and dungeon design. At some point I’ll have to craft some more UI graphics to go along with the work that Chris has been doing, but for now he’s making do with programmer art ;) I’m also in the midst of finishing up our Kickstarter Postmortem and am planning to publish that this coming Thursday, so keep an eye on our Twitter/Facebook if that’s something you’re interested in seeing!
Hey, Chris here. I have been tackling a lot of small tasks since the Kickstarter, focusing on polishing things that got left to the wayside in the wake of getting the Kickstarter up and running. Much of that dealing with the flow of combat and bugs. The biggest task I delved into was the start of implementing the logic that governs how the world plays out as time advances forward. I prototyped how the different Houses in game will have children, choose heirs, vie for the throne, manage their resources, etc. There is still much work left to do on that front but it is coming along nicely.
As Nik mentioned, the focus now is getting a build ready (primarily combat focused) for Otronicon in January. Otronicon isn't really a purely gaming focused event but it's a local show I wanted to participate in along with the rest of the indie game scene in Orlando, FL. We have a couple phases of builds we're working towards with each one getting us closer to our beta build that will be sent to backers late next year.
Some other tasks I worked on included:
implementing keys for locked doors/chests
updated internal tools for creating dynamic events and dialogue
updated character abilities to be more inline with their designs
tweaking general pace of combat (an ongoing process)
worked on equipping gear and looting from chests
added consumable items (e.g. health potions)
implemented stores to purchase items from various vendors
skinned/implemented some pre-mission UI screens
various bug fixing
To wrap this up, we would just like to give a quick shoutout to our friends working on a tactical RPG called Summoner’s Fate. Their Kickstarter campaign has 3 days remaining and they’ve just passed their goal, be sure to give them a look here!
Lore and World Details (+Survey Reminder)
5 months ago
– Sat, Oct 07, 2017 at 12:32:51 AM
Hey everyone. Today we’re going to reveal a bit more information about the world and its lore from the perspective of what an average citizen would know. We’ll be keeping the full lore and history under lock and key for now, but throughout the game you’ll be able to piece together the full story through exploration, discoveries, conversations and the completion of the main storyline.
The game takes place on a landmass known as ‘Caelum’ to its inhabitants. Caelum is surrounded by vast oceans that remain uncharted, fueling debate among citizens over the existence of other lands. Caelum itself is comprised of 9 regions:
Lithus: A small and sunny coastal region
Godsvale: A lush region full of large valleys, rivers and forests.
The Redlands: A vast desert region with most inhabitants residing on its coasts
Midland: A temperate region, once home to the capital of the Kingdom of Caelum
The Steppe: A region of grass-filled plains that can experience harsh winters
Winter’s Reign: A frigid region surrounded by the sea and a vast mountain range
Highland Reach: A mountainous region that is home to one the largest port cities in Caelum
Dragate: A small region that is largely uninhabitable due to its rocky mountain formations
Daybreak Isles: A small tropical island known for its sunny and warm weather
The regions of Caelum were once united under one Kingdom and a lineage of rulers that remained unbroken for centuries. However, a plague swept through Caelum and put an end to the line and the lives of many other citizens. Following this event, a power struggle ensued with each Major House vying for power and staking their claim for the vacant throne. The ‘War of Dissolution’ lasted for decades, with regional and civil wars alike all ending with a tentative peace between the major powers of Caelum, and the formation of many independent Kingdoms.
The Blighted: The Blighted are a savage faction that were once human. Men and women who are afflicted by the dragon’s blight slowly lose their minds and turn into aggressive abominations. It takes years for those affected to become fully Blighted, and there exists a moral dilemma among Caelum’s citizens on how to deal with them. Blighted can be found in all corners of the world, roaming above ground or in the darkest depths of the land. You will encounter many Blighted, both fully-turned and some who yet retain a fragment of their minds and sanity.
The Vanguard Order: The Vanguard are an ancient order that was formed under the first King of Caelum and tasked with defending the realm from humanity’s greatest threats. Once considered a prestigious order, they have somewhat fallen out of favor with the general public, mainly due to their employ of those afflicted with the Blight, and their failure to effectively protect humanity against the dragon.
The Overseers: The Overseers were formed shortly after magic was born into the world and were initially tasked with hunting down rogue mages who practiced forbidden arts. After the arrival of the dragon they also became responsible for tracking and killing the Blighted who had fled from the public. Due to the Vanguard’s employ of Blighted, the Overseers also share in the dislike for their order, and they often end up hunting Blighted who run from their duty within the Vanguard.
Caelum’s history is split up into four ages, the First Age, the Age of Gods, the Age of Man and the Age of Heroes. The average citizen knows very little or nothing at all of the first two ages, and most stories that do exist are nothing more than myth and speculation. It is said that humanity was left to its own devices in the First Age until the Gods descended to the mortal realm to shepherd their development, thus beginning the Age of Gods.
Nobody knows how long The Age of Gods lasted, but few remnants of its time can still be found in the form of ruined cities and structures, including various shrines to the Gods that were once worshipped. A great host of invaders brought an end to the Age of Gods, bringing humanity to near-extinction and reducing its cities to dust. Humanity endured however and the Age of Man began, while both the invaders and Gods seemed to vanish from all accounts. Humanity’s shattered civilization was rebuilt under a single Kingdom which flourished for centuries, enjoying peace and prosperity until the ‘War of Dissolution’ began.
Years later saw the emergence of the dragon, a great being of death and disease that some proclaimed as a new God, sent to punish humanity for its sins. The dragon’s curse saw men and women slowly transform into abominations, who became known as the Blighted. Humanity observed the effects of the Blight and those who showed signs were outcast from society in the best of cases(though some tolerant cities built prisons to hold them), but most were burned alive as the people began to fear the Blight and those who bore it. This fear and distrust extended to the Vanguard, who had allowed the Blighted to join their ranks and spend their final days in service of the realm.
Every few decades, the dragon would emerge from the Void and wreak havoc within the mortal realm. This become an accepted fate among the citizens of Caelum and they could see no way to escape it. Though the dragon’s stay was always brief, the host of demons and spirits it left in its wake would pour into the surrounding areas and require the Vanguard and other heroes to take up arms in defense. This began the Age of Heroes, and these men and women became renowned for their deeds. Some citizens proclaimed that the heroes were immune to both death and the Blight, and others began to believe it true. Eventually however, these heroes that guarded the mortal realm for so long would fade into memory and myth. A few rumored sightings would spring up over the years, which never amounted to anything more than hearsay. Presently, many believe that the Age of Heroes has drawn to an end, but others still retain hope that they’ll one day return.
The Void is an endless and dark realm of existence where the souls of the dead linger for eternity. It is home to many foul creatures, demons, spirits, and most notably the dragon. The Void is the source of all dark and blood magic within the world, and those who practice such arts are relentlessly pursued by the Overseers. The Void has a large role to play in the game and a variety of missions and storylines will frequently take you there.
There are still a few hundred backers who have yet to fill out their surveys, although there is no rush it’s helpful to us if you could fill it out sooner rather than later. Upon completion of the survey you can claim the Welcome Pack reward and the Discord invitation of you’re eligible. If you haven’t yet received the email, you can request it to be re-sent here:
If you’ve already done the above and still haven’t received an email please shoot us a message here on Kickstarter and we’ll send you a direct link to your survey.
Hope you all have a great weekend, and I’d like to wish my fellow Canadians a happy Thanksgiving in advance :)
If you’re hungry for another RPG on Kickstarter, we’d like to give a shout-out to our friends working on Fell Seal. It’s a classic tactical RPG reminiscent of Final Fantasy Tactics, and has some awesome pixel art and hand drawn backdrops to boot. They’re nearly 40% funded with 23 days remaining and we encourage you to check them out!