about 1 month 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)
2 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!
BackerKit surveys sent!
3 months ago
– Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 01:33:55 AM
Hey everyone. Yesterday we began sending out surveys, and since everything seems to be working as expected we've gone ahead and sent out the rest today. You should be receiving them shortly, if not be sure to check your spam folders. If you still haven't received it by tomorrow, you can request it to be sent re-sent here: http://theironoath.backerkit.com
With the surveys now sent, you'll be able to:
Select your preferred platform for receiving the game
Enter the name or alias you wish to have appear in the game's credits($15+ Backers)
Enter your Discord username($50+ Backers)
Enter the name you wish to add to the NPC pool ($75+ Backers)
Increase your pledge level or add-on for additional rewards
Honor your pledge if your Kickstarter payment failed
We've also begun distributing the rewards that we can fulfill at this time:
The Welcome Pack, including 2 wallpapers at various resolutions and a retro ringtone
Discord invitations for those who have pledged above $50 or added-on(for Kickstarter add-ons it will take a bit longer to receive your invite since we have to go through the survey answers manually and assign the reward to you)
All digital downloads, such as the Game Manual, Art Book and Soundtrack will be distributed through BackerKit once they become available. This will likely be concurrent with the game's release, or slightly beforehand.
For designer rewards such as "Write a Corpse's Journal" or "Design a Legendary Item" we will be in touch with you once we're ready to fulfill these. We've created private channels for these rewards within the Discord and you can run your ideas by us in there beforehand if you wish!
Late Backing still available
A quick reminder to all non-backers, you can still pledge and receive the same rewards from our pre-order store. All reward tiers up to $200 are available, and the store will remain open for at least a few months.
Chris and I are now back into development mode, and our plan going forward is to post monthly updates covering what we've been working on. Next week we'll be posting an update covering the game world, lore etc, and during the month of October I'll be preparing our Kickstarter postmortem, and hopefully the animation tutorial as well :)
Overworld Simulation: Houses, Events, Encounters and Missions
3 months ago
– Thu, Sep 21, 2017 at 11:22:09 PM
Hey folks! Today we’re going to dig into the overworld simulation aspect, touching on how ruling houses operate, events, encounters, and missions.
Each region within the game’s world is comprised of a Royal House and a few Major Houses. Royal Houses rule over the entire region in which they are situated. They hold ownership of the region’s capital city and sometimes other cities as well. The Major Houses are Vassals of the Royal House. If the Royal House ever gets involved in a war or other situation where assistance is required, the vassals are obliged to answer their King or Queen’s call. Major Houses can also rule and own multiple cities, and it’s even possible for them to have a greater wealth and military strength than that of their liege.
Each ruling House has their own set of goals and principles(or ethos). Their ethos can differ slightly from generation to generation, but extreme changes in a short time period are unlikely(like going from peaceful to warmongering over a span of a few years). Each city also its own ethos, which at the beginning will be quite similar to that of others within the region(since they generally are the same race, have the same practices etc). A city’s ethos is less subject to change over time, but it will slowly be influenced by the ethos of its ruler. Each city has some stats that are tracked that help drive the logic of its ruling House:
Wealth: Used to buy resources, hire mercenaries and fund their army
Military Strength: Having a strong military means they are less likely to shy away from conflict
Resources: Are they able to feed citizens? Do they need to trade for wood or stone? Each region has some predetermined resource nodes, but new ones will also appear during the course of the game.
Population Happiness: How happy are the citizens with their ruler
The other stat tracked would be each rulers standing with one another and other factions of the world. Those with a high standing would be allies, those with low would be enemies. Generally, a vassal will be in good standing with their Liege, but it’s possible for it to drop low enough that they may choose to rebel against him or her.
The ethos and stats will all determine how a ruler reacts to different situations and world events that occur. Events occur all the time in the game and help make each playthrough unique. A single event can vary in complexity and impact on the world. They can be either triggered upon certain criteria being met, or completely random. Some examples of random events are:
New resource nodes
Void breaches(the release of spirits & demons into the world).
Some conditional events would be:
A bandit raid on a city, with the condition being that the city has a low military presence. A city’s military numbers could be lowered for various reasons, such as conflict or simply a lack of funds.
Revolt of a city, if citizen happiness remains low for a long period of time, the citizens may trigger a revolt and regime change.
A vassal may rebel against his King or Queen if their ethos’ greatly differ and their relationship weakens. Other factors that are taken into account would be the ruler's ambition and military strength that he or she commands.
Both types of events would have a type of mission or encounter generated alongside each, and you could come across them providing you’re in the right region(for an encounter) or hub(for a mission). Depending on the mission or encounter, you’ll have the chance to influence the world in varying degrees, either by completing it or by choosing not to.
Let’s say come spring time in a region, there’s an event that triggers, stating that the wolf population in the region is getting out of hand this year. This would generate a few missions and possible encounters specific to that event. While traveling in the region you may get an encounter that describes a group of travelers fending off a pack of wolves. You can choose to assist them or ignore their plight, either choice would affect your reputation and could have an impact on your game either immediately or down the line(especially if it is eventually revealed that the travelers were noteworthy citizens).
A variety of quests would be generated from this event as well. A city may issue a bounty on wolf heads, a hunter may have tried to tackle the problem himself and has gone missing, or you can undertake a mission to drive the wolves out of their nearby den. Without your assistance, the problem may escalate, and could even require a city to divert some of their military force to resolve the situation.
One of the biggest ways to influence the world would be to assassinate a ruler(these types of missions would obviously be incredibly difficult). An ally of yours may send you a letter, asking for your help in his plot to kill his liege who he has grown to dislike. A few choices present themselves to you right away:
You can refuse his request and he may drop his plot, or attempt it anyway
You can reveal his scheme. Likely earning yourself a reward from the liege, but also sentencing your ally to death and potentially having all of his House’s holdings revoked.
You can accept the mission and attempt to complete it.
If you accept and manage to complete the mission, the liege will be replaced by their heir. If they are without an heir, the most well-liked Major House of that region will ascend to the throne. However if there is any amount of dislike between the Houses, a war for the throne is likely to occur.
This type of outcome would also spawn some more missions for you, and you could choose a side and help them win the crown by completing various tasks: capturing a watchtower, disrupting enemy supply lines, or fending off some invaders from within a structure. As of now, you won’t be able to fully partake in a large scale battle(though it’s something we’d like to do eventually, but probably not until after release), your assistance would instead come through the completion of various small scale skirmishes that assist the war-effort of your ally.
That about covers each aspect, hopefully you like the direction and ideas we have for the game’s world. Our next content update will talk a bit more about the world itself: some lore, regions, factions, and some information on the void and its inhabitants. As mentioned last time, we’re planning to send out the surveys this Saturday, however we need the Kickstarter funds to come through first so we can make our payment to BackerKit. Hopefully it comes through today or tomorrow, if not the survey will likely be delayed until next week.
BackerKit pre-order store is now live!
3 months ago
– Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 11:44:58 PM
Hey everyone, we hope you’re all doing well! It’s taken a little longer than we would have liked to get everything ready, but our BackerKit pre-order store is now live!
If you missed your chance to back the game or were waiting for a Paypal option, you can now do so through our BackerKit store. All pledge tiers up to $200 are the same as they are here on Kickstarter, we decided not to bother with anything above that since they were close to selling out anyway.
For all Kickstarter backers who have been wanting to add-on or increase their current pledge, you’ll have to wait one more week until the surveys are sent out(we’ll post another update at that time). All funds from BackerKit will be added to our Kickstarter funding and will count towards unlocking the remaining stretch goals, we’ll keep you updated as these are achieved. As we’ve mentioned before, it’s our intention to add all of these stretch goals in post-launch updates regardless of funding. Hitting each goal will simply enable us to include them on launch instead.
Now that one week has passed, all backers with failed payments have been automatically dropped from the campaign. If this was out of your control or you simply forgot to fix it, you will still be given the chance to honor your pledge once we send out our BackerKit surveys.
With the campaign concluded, we’ve had a couple questions regarding our plans for consoles. We still want to make this happen, primarily for PS4, Switch and XONE. However we’ll need a partner to do so as it’s not something we can tackle ourselves. Our aim is to have something more concrete on this by early/mid 2018, we will keep you posted!
Fan Art Contest Winners
Here are the entries and winners for our fan art contest!
Congratulations to our winners, and thanks for your entries!
Later this month I’ll be writing up an in-depth postmortem of our campaign, detailing every step we took to prepare for Kickstarter, and the detailed results of all of our planning. Hopefully it will be helpful to other indie developers out there who are looking to launch their own campaigns!
As for our status, we’ll soon be able to get back to work. Chris finally got his power back today and I’m ready to go after enjoying a little time off! On Thursday we will be posting an update going over Events, Encounters & World Simulation, and on Saturday we will send out the BackerKit surveys. After receiving your responses we will then send out Discord invites to the private server. The wallpapers and ringtones will also go out during this time. Take care everyone! :)