July 10th, 2014
Since we’re moving further into development, I’ll be switching from our usual art/sound/dev breakdown and starting instead with:
For this update I wanted to give you all an extended look at the game running so you’ll have a better sense of how it’s all coming together. Those of you who prefer to wait to experience the game first-hand may want to stop here!
Though individually they’re not very interesting to watch, the sequence of battles in the video are carefully designed as a progression to teach the players the game’s basic combat mechanics. Designing a tutorial for a tactics RPG without any text is tricky business, but I think we’ll get there as we continue to tweak based on your feedback during testing (more on this below).
Apart from the tutorial stuff, one point I didn’t discuss much in the video is the concept of bannermen, which are playable units not in the main cast. In the video, Alec and Marcus are bannermen who can either be saved or killed (in my play-through, due to my actions, Alec made it while Marcus didn’t). If a bannerman survives in battle, he’ll continue to appear in future battles as an ally you can develop. Additionally, he’ll persist in the world as an NPC while you explore, so you might witness events like his reunion with his kin when your party arrives at his home town.
Since we’re not placing heavy emphasis on equipment and loot, this concept is shaping up to add a lot more depth and replayability to the game. It’s also turning into an interesting way to scale the game’s challenge level, since novice players can focus on keeping the main cast alive to progress through the story, while advanced players can aim to save as many bannermen as possible.
Alpha & Beyond
A playable build for our alpha backers with the first few chapters of the game will be ready by the next update. Over the next few months I’ll be sharing updated builds with additional content on a regular basis (save data will persist across updates). To help keep things manageable on our end, initially the test builds will be available for PC, Mac, and Linux. As we get further into testing, I’ll be making additional announcements regarding testing on our other platforms.
With the engine port, art overhaul, and scope of the game growing in the last few months, we’ve had to move the game’s release date to sometime near the end of the year. The added time should give us a chance to really take the game as far as we can. For those of you who can’t wait to start playing, hopefully having access to the latest build will be enough to keep you occupied
As we continue with production, Kalen will be hosting Livestreams where he’ll be working on art for Liege. Here’s a recent one he did where he worked on some of what you see below:
We’ll be making announcements on our devblog, Facebook and Twitter regarding times and dates for future sessions, so subscribe/like/follow if you haven’t already!
To close out, I’ll leave you with one of Aakaash’s recent works- a peaceful ambient forest theme.