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An action RPG set in 1920s Massachusetts. Create and manage a team of investigators in a story-driven supernatural mystery.
An action RPG set in 1920s Massachusetts. Create and manage a team of investigators in a story-driven supernatural mystery.
An action RPG set in 1920s Massachusetts. Create and manage a team of investigators in a story-driven supernatural mystery.
5,420 backers pledged £102,430 to help bring this project to life.

Marsh-Frog Mondays 10 - Branching dialogue, choices, pacifist mode?

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Hello Monday frog-friends!

Sorry for missing last week’s scheduled update. We hope you’re ready for a writing-heavy one this time. This month we’re busy with the story, cutscenes and branching dialogue, so there won’t be much to show in terms of new artwork.

Usually we don’t like to talk too much about the narrative aspects of the game, but it’s worth noting that we’ve come a long way since the Kickstarter launch. For example, rather than displaying text in a speech bubble, with 2-4 responses, the engine now supports up to 8 choices in a scrolling text box.

Note: Old screenshots ahoy, as we don't want to spoil the NPCs/dialogue we're working on currently.

This newer method, which has a distinctly cRPG feel to it, allows you to loop back to important conversation points, and unlock choices based on your specialisations. So far, the game’s key supporting NPCs have around 25-30 pages of optional dialogue each, allowing for some in-depth scrutiny of the game world for those who wish to seek it out.

For those who just want to get straight to the action, we’ve tried to keep the core dialogue and cutscenes pithy and to the point.

Other dialogue features we’ve recently added:

  • Dynamic Dialogue Choices: Differently worded trees depending on the investigator doing the talking. The enigmatic Moose communicates via gestures and mime, whereas the Gentleman’s lines have a touch of the King’s English.
  • Skill Tests: Reach a set value in a skill to unlock bonus choices in certain encounters. This is mainly used to test your charm, intimidate or barter skills, but there are more obscure branches of knowledge (psionics, rituals, antiques).
  • Attribute Tests: Based on the five main attributes, Might, Senses, Agility, Craft and Spirit. Most commonly these will take the form of feats of strength (Might), like moving heavy objects.
  • Antiques: While this isn't strictly a dialogue change, we have expanded the old relics item type, and renamed it to antiques. Investigators who specialise in antiques will be able to equip artefacts, cow creamers, salt shakers a whole host of mystical trumpery which has absorbed the strange energy surrounding Witchmarsh over the course of several decades/centuries.
Mystical trumpery.
Mystical trumpery.
  • We're still posting up Luciana's item icons on Tumblr and Instagram, as well as tiny snippets of environments and pixel art. Come join us!

Non-combat Route?
One question we’re often asked is whether there will be a peaceful route through the main story. Although such a run wouldn’t be officially on the cards, we are looking forward to seeing what you can do. To aid you in this, we’ve been investigating new ways for players to earn EXP outside of combat, and scripting a few non-combat resolutions to previously linear encounters. We’ll be sure to cover this more in a future update.

That’s it for this time. We should be back in two weeks with another report.

Thanks for waiting. :)

- Inglenook

Marsh-Frog Mondays 9 - UI reveal

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 Happy Monday, frog-fellows!

Sorry for posting this up a bit later than usual. April's been all about progress on the combat, UI and branching dialogue. We're still not ready to estimate a new release date, but we're definitely getting closer to the next backer test. Thanks for bearing with us.

Features and recent additions:

  • The UI now has an optional text log (below), and new group status effect icons.
(Click to view full-size)
(Click to view full-size)

 

  • An active Search Mode should be fully in place before the upcoming backer test. Toggle to boost the team's ability to detect hidden objects and creatures.
  • We've numbered the hotkey bar for ease of use. EXP bar has been given a facelift.

  • Like item icons? You should definitely follow us on Instagram!

  • We've been busy rewriting and polishing many of the game's tooltips, abilities and item descriptions. Hope you like puns! Also, the game's main menu will feature a help section (reached by hitting Esc), where you can re-read tutorial popups and view an A-Z glossary of terms and gameplay mechanics.
  • Several branching dialogue encounters should be ready for you to test by the summer, too. We won't talk much about them, but we may post up some character designs in future updates!

Well, we'll get back to it. Stay tuned for more news. :)

- Inglenook

Marsh-Frog Mondays 8 - New website, instagram launch, newsletter reminder

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Hey everyone,

Another brief one this time!

This month's progress is all about story, as we're busy writing new scenes and converting branching scripts into in-game events. We've also been doing a bit of housekeeping, and have more-or-less caught up on messages and emails. If we've missed yours, just give us a nudge and we'll get to it as quickly we can.

New Webzone

We're happy to announce that we have a new official website. Hope you like it!

More of Luciana's brilliant icons.
More of Luciana's brilliant icons.

Community Info

If you'd like to be notified whenever major Witchmarsh developments occur, you can sign up to our Newsletter. We also have a shiny new Instagram account, so follow us there for mini gameplay snippets, screenshots, art and assorted pixels.

Well, that just about covers it. Between now and next time, a question: would you be interested in reading snippets about the main NPC characters in Witchmarsh? Would that veer too deeply into spoiler territory?

Let us know what you think.

- Your friends at Inglenook.

Marsh-Frog Mondays 7 - March features & additions

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Hey everyone,

It's that time again! First of all: apologies for the slow pace. It’s cold and flu season here, and when two people on a small team come down with something nasty it can slow things down a fair bit.

We’re still busy adding new features to the upcoming alpha, which is getting closer by the day [still no ETA, but we'll send out extra emails to gold key holders when it's time].

Key Updates

 Here’s a list of the new additions which we can currently talk about.

  • Stamina, the main resource of fighting-type investigators has been added! Jumping, non-magic abilities, and attacking now drain your stamina points; when you hit zero you must wait for it to recover. We’re also working on new support enemy types which focus on draining and fatiguing your investigators.
  • Health, Mana and Stamina now regenerate dynamically, and can can be increased, decreased or halted through equipment, spells and effects. Regeneration is increased out of combat (currently: 2x Health and Mana, 4x Stamina).
A heated skelly-brawl
A heated skelly-brawl
  • Rest feature added. Out of combat, and when there are no enemies nearby, you can camp to recover your health and mana. The system is pretty basic for now, but in the future we hope to add nighttime ambushes and detection via gadgets or spells.
  • After a few tweaks and fixes, the enemy AI is exactly where we want it to be. There will be some new variations to implement between now and full release, but this is now checked off for alpha and beta purposes.
  • Spellcasting is now much more responsive. Numerous bugs fixed, including issues with the targeting and line of sight detection.
  • Large, monstrous enemies like the Bruiser Skeleton can now stun their victims on hit. They also have a habit of targeting the closest investigator, so make sure you send your toughest fighter out to intercept them!
  • Skills are now more dynamic. They can be increased or decreased through equipment, spells and status effects. We hope to implement features such as curses which make investigators momentarily forget how to evade or handle weapon types effectively.
  • Character creation: we’ve added an ‘auto-generate’ team feature for faster testing. We hope to replace this with a system of templates, allowing players to save their newly created investigators/teams for future playthroughs.
  • Character selection: Star ratings on investigator strengths/weaknesses removed. Replaced with a text box containing 3-4 bullet points and a short overview.
The new talents system
The new talents system
  • 80% of the player talents, previously known as perks, are now in the game. During character creation, players choose three of these, which help govern the character’s theme and playstyle.
  • The Technician joins the upcoming alpha’s playable lineup (previously she had been planned for the beta). Her animations have been polished and updated.

So that about sums up March’s fixes and additions. There have been other changes which we're not ready to talk about as they may veer into spoiler territory. Next month we’ll be focusing on the quests, cutscenes and fine-tuning some of the branching dialogue which will be appearing in the upcoming beta.

Thanks for reading. We'll be back in two weeks with another update.

- Inglenook Games

Marsh-Frog Mondays 6, The Scribe

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Hey everyone,

We’ve been busy working on new features and content for the upcoming beta, but since they're not ready to showcase just yet, we’d like to present you with another character spotlight.

This time it's a spell-casting character: the Scribe.

THE SCRIBE

‘And he turned his mind to unknown arts.’
- Ovid


Primary Attribute
: Spirit.
Melee weapon: Staff.
Suggested Roles: Support, magic (Priest, Arcane, Nature).

Background

Despite being a renowned scholar, the Scribe isn’t one to rub shoulders with the upper echelons of Witchmarsh academia. He moves in different circles: the kind which forms by candlelight, usually in a forested ruin or secluded manor. There he works, away from the chanting and unholy blessings, sorting through the stacks of dusty tomes amassed by his employers.

While it’s true that his chosen career path involves an element of risk (he’s crawled out of more sacrificial pits than he’d care to admit), it would all be worth it if he could get his hands on an elusive volume. The one which it is said, contains an account of the founding of Witchmarsh, and the true nature of the town's supernatural activity.


Passive Trait: Keeper’s Tome

By anticipating encounters and researching accordingly, the Scribe need never enter a new location unprepared. Once per day he may study a scroll item in his backpack, memorising the spell it contains and etching it into his tome. One ability may be learned at a time in this way.

Passive Trait: Scribe’s Armaments

Dusty Sling: Blunt thrown weapons have an increased chance to hit their target. Stones and conjured bullets are the Scribe’s thrown weapon of choice, especially against enemies with a high evade skill.

Plated Vestments: The Scribe’s robes provide some protection against knives and other pointed implements, which often proves useful in his line of work. Piercing melee attacks have a small chance to be deflected, dealing no damage.

Weaknesses

  • The Scribe has a low health pool and armor rating, and is therefore vulnerable to physical attacks.
  • Can't deal much in the way of physical damage.
  • Low maximum stamina. Easily slowed and stunned by enemies with stamina-draining attacks.

Key Skills

  • Rituals: Special abilities which require a reagent item in order to be cast. Also unlocks new dialogue options, especially when parleying with cults and supernatural entities.

Have you heard: The Adventure Zone

In this space we usually tell you about about another Kickstarter or game being launched, but this week we're bending the rules. We'd like to recommend one of our favourite podcasts, The Adventure Zone: a weekly D&D podcast starring three brothers and their dad. If you're looking for a dose of adventure and comedy while you wait for Witchmarsh to launch, the McElroys have you covered.  IMPORTANT NOTE: Strong language aplenty.

That's all for this week. It shouldn't be long until we're ready to start the countdown to the beta, so keep checking the updates.

- Inglenook