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A 2D isometric, turn-based Role-Playing Game with the depth and challenge of old-school classics and a modern, intuitive interface.
A 2D isometric, turn-based Role-Playing Game with the depth and challenge of old-school classics and a modern, intuitive interface.
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The Sequel: More casual or more hardcore?

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Greetings!  

Recently, there have been some hot discussions in the forum about if the sequel of Lords of Xulima would be more casual to attract more potential buyers or more hardcore to please the old-school fans. So we would like to talk about this topic and clarify this aspect before the rivers of blood flood the forum. ;)  

First, don't confuse Accessible with Casual

A game can be more casual or more hardcore independently of their accessibility level. Lords of Xulima is big, challenging and deep, with lots of mechanisms and possibilities but, it is very accessible. It is very easy and simple to play (move the avatar, talk with NPCs, disarm traps, level up, combat...). We dedicated a lot of work to achieve that level of simplicity of playing. On contrast, old-school games seemed much more hardcore than they actually were because of their obscure and awkward interfaces.

We will always try to make the games as accessible as possible so any player can play it, but with the same level of challenge and depth as they were originally designed.

Was Lords of Xulima casual or hardcore?

Of course, we would never say it is a casual game but it was also not designed as a hardcore one. We wanted to align it to the feel of the old-school games like Wizardy 7, Might and Magic, Ultima... Were those hardcore games? We wouldn’t say that. They were challenging. There was no hand holding, no tutorial, not linear, and they were complex and deep, but they were not hardcore at all. For us, a hardcore game is one that is mainly designed to challenge the player and always try to make him fail so only players with a lot of experience and a lot of understanding of the game mechanics can advance and overcome those challenges. That is what happens in most roguelikes or others like Dark Souls.  

Lords of Xulima was designed and balanced to make the best experience possible for the Old-School difficulty mode. Then, we created two more modes as variations of the main mode:  

- Normal: It represent a much lower challenge. It is perfect for people that prefer a much straightforward adventure and enjoys the game without needing to worry too much about game mechanisms.  

- Hardcore: Just the opposite. The game parameters are modified to be much more difficult. Players should have a stronger understanding of the game, optimizing their party and way of playing to advance in the game. This is especially true if they active the Ironman Mode where they cannot save outside the towns.  

We think it worked very well for most players. And for those that choose the hardest settings, the game rewards them with a better score (and also achievements and leaderboard position) that is impossible to achieve in lower difficulty modes. 

So how will the sequel be?

Let’s just say that in Numantian Games, we will always focus on creating deep and challenging games. It is our seal and always will be. So, of course, it won't be a casual game and it won't have casual options to disable mechanisms of the game. We will use the same method for casual players: a low difficulty mode, but they will have to play the same game with the same mechanisms (food, traps, encounters...) as any other player.  

Indeed, the game will be even more challenging, more open, with more depth, more options to evolve the party, and many more secrets. There will be a special ending that will be a truly hardcore experience ;) and more special rewards for the higher difficulties. 

Also, we are thinking of making the Ironman mode setting as mandatory or at least implement new features to prevent save-scumming as much as possible. But don't worry!, it will always be implemented in a fair way.  

What do you think? As always, you are invited to leave your feedback here.  

See you soon!

Linear or Open Worlds

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Hi!

Some more words about CRPG elements and the sequel.

Linear or Open Worlds

In Lord of Xulima, the world was open in essence. From the beginning, you could go wherever you wished. Of course, you could die very easily, adventuring yourself into too dangerous regions. However, we set some few specific barriers in several places mostly in the first part of the game.

There were two types of barriers, ones that were only powerful guardians like the army of the impious princes that protected certain regions. Those barriers weren't impossible to beat without triggering the events that removed them (killing the corresponding prince) if you had a very powerful party. The other barriers were fixed and impossible to beat until you got special items or did specific things. For example, the Ulnalum Guardian that prevented to enter in Varaskel or the Yul statue in Rasmura that protected the bridge access with a halo of darkness.

We set those barriers for two reasons. First the story, the story was more coherent if the main story dialog was played in its natural order. Second, it was to avoid the player from getting lost too soon. In LoX’s earliest version, we first tested with no barriers at all. The testers wasted a lot of time trying to figure out where to go, what areas they could explore or were too dangerous. Ultimately, they became frustrated very quickly. In contrast, with those few barriers the world continues to be very open with lots of things to do, the story flows better, and the player is not overwhelmed by so many options at the very beginning.

As with any design decision, this one was sometimes criticized by the most hardcore players and at the same time, the game was too obscure for other players that got lost as soon as they reached Velegarn (indeed, most of them died on the road to Sorrentia; do you remember that lovely ogre?).

As always, it is impossible to please all players, so we will be loyal to the essence of Lords of Xulima and its old-school spirit. For the sequel, we will continue with this philosophy but improve the world openness as much as the story allows us to. The world will again be vast and dangerous. We want the player to explore and experiment without adding artificial barriers. You will be free to roam wherever you wish or your survival sense allows you.

Random Encounters

One very important mechanism of CRPGs are the random encounters. For LoX, we wanted to evolve it and make it more natural and realistic as we commented in this old post.

Generally, in most games, encounters are infinite and will periodically trigger. In LoX the encounters are finite in every region, so you can even clear full areas and wander freely without worries (except by the Cursed Hounds...). Also, the fewer encounters remaining the more time they need to trigger. Additionally, encounters did not trigger near the places where you defeated one of them recently. That’s the reason why you cannot cheat the system by walking in circles just in the zone entrance until you clear it and then explore it safely.We tried to make this mechanism natural and balanced and not so annoying as in many other games.

But we did not count on the many people who were willing to clear all the encounters to receive the reward for clearing every zone. So instead of avoiding the random encounter issues, we were encouraging players to wander desperately trying to trigger the encounters. Players asked the developers to have skills to trigger them, increase the frequency, or even that monsters respawn so you cannot run out of experience!!

So, yes, this is something we want to address for the sequel. Random encounters should be to keep the tension and sense of danger. We will remove the reward for clearing it unless it is because it is the goal of a mission. The encounters will be finite or not depending on what makes sense in the area. For example, you can clear a castle of soldiers, but perhaps from time to time some thieves or animals appear in the desolated castle, while in the wild you can diminish the encounters frequency but there will be always some of them wandering. So, we will mix different behaviors for the random encounters to adapt them for the zones and add variety, suspense, and surprise to the player. Also, encounters won't always be enemies to combat, but some special ones depending on the zones.

And of course, there will be much more dynamic and special elements. Do you remember the Cursed Hounds? Wait to see the Holy Servants of Alnaet in the sequel, you will miss your old friends...

Next post we will continue talking about CRPGs elements and the sequel. As always you are invited to leave comments here or give us you game feedback in the forum about the sequel.

Have a nice week!

Latest News!

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New Game Incoming 

It has been a long time since our last update, yes, but don't think the Numantian team has been on holidays since then. We have been working hard during these past months on our new game. We will announce it for Christmas and expect to release it for the end of Q1 2017. Although it is not LoX II or even an RPG, we are sure this game is going to please all that have enjoyed Lords of Xulima (even the main developers are playing it a lot instead of working on finishing it...). We will talk more about it in the next update, but let’s drop a tiny hint: its initials are T.A.B. Any guess?

The Sequel: Lords of Xulima II 

We decided to create a different game before Lords of Xulima II for two reasons: First, to have more time to design it with new and fresh ideas. And of course, we will be continuing the original story. This story, by the way, will be much more epic than the first one. The first game, "A Story of Gods of Humans" is actually the prequel to the main story. Second, we would love to produce Lords of Xulima II with much better quality in all aspects: graphics, sound, and voice. We believe that the new game will help us reach that goal.

Keep in mind, behind Lords of Xulima, there are 4 years of development. Designing a 100-hour RPG, with the world, gameplay, mechanisms, puzzles, classes, and everything being coherent with the main story was like squaring the circle. And the sequel is much more ambitious.

We are very proud of LoX. It is not perfect, we know it, but we will use all our experience and all that we have learned so far to make the sequel even more special and unique.

Let's talk about RPG gameplay

Some months ago, we started a thread where the players can give us their feedback for the sequel. We wanted to know what aspects of the original game they liked the most and which of them they did not enjoy as much. We were also interested in new ideas and suggestions.

In this update and others to come, we will discuss different gameplay topics and how they will be implemented in the sequel. We will post new updates every two to three weeks. Each one of them will cover a gameplay aspect.

Game Length and Replayability

We love long games, especially in the RPG genre. In the old-school days, games like Wizardy VII or the first Might and Magic games were huge epic games with 100+ hours of content. Nowadays it is rare to find a game that lasts more than 20-30 hours.With Lords of Xulima, we wanted to bring back those huge stories of the past when you had time to slowly evolve your party from weaker than rats to adventurous young men to powerful demigod heroes.

In this case, we think we went too far since Lords of Xulima is a bit too long. This isn’t a problem in itself, but the third part of the game suffers a bit, as it lacks in fresh content, too much combat, and less variety of enemies. We had to do it because of the long story. The eight temples / gods should have an equal level of importance. But to keep that in the story, the gameplay suffered. Nevertheless, with the last part of the game, it was interesting to drink the blood of a king through the horn of a demon or find an old sea-route in some ancient ruins to reach a small isle and there find a speaking chest with the most powerful weapon :o)

For the sequel, we plan on making it shorter of about 40-50 hours for the main story. However, it will have different endings depending on your actions. One of the endings will be especially difficult to achieve. Only the most hardcore players will be able to beat it after 100 hours+ of playing.

Additionally, we are going to focus more on the replay value. Since the game follows a story, there must be a lot of static content (dialog, places, puzzles, NPCs ...). Though it won’t be a procedurally generated roguelike, there are some aspects of the game that can make every new game more random and unique:

  • More Variety of Classes: New classes that make you play the game in a different way. We will talk more about them it later.
  • Traps: Most traps will be randomly placed. With each new game, they will change. 
  • Static Enemies and Random Encounters: In LoX I, they had a bit of randomness but in the sequel, they will be much different. 
  • Dynamic NPCs: Some special NPCs will travel through the world. Their interaction will have important effects on the player. 
  • Special random world areas and dungeons: Some world areas like Geldra and Pernitia from the first game will be generated randomly. Also, some optional and special dungeons will be random too.
  • Special Items and Artifacts: Every game will have a set of special items whose nature and location will change. Special Bosses: Some bosses will change with every new game, such as their nature and location.

What do you think?

Next time we will talk about "Linear or Open Worlds".

See you soon!

New Languages: Russian, Chinese and Italian

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Greetings!

New Version v.2.1: Three New Languages Available

The new version of Lords of Xulima is available now and includes three new languages: Chinese, Russian and Italian.

We would have loved to release it sooner but we have experienced several delays with the translations. Also, languages with different alphabets like Russian and especially Chinese have been a real challenge to support. Anyway, we have learnt a lot and we promise that future games will be translated into all the languages for the official launch. Everything, from the world map to the Deluxe Edition books have been translated.

Hope you enjoy it!

Future Projects of Numantian Games

We are currently working on two main projects.

First, porting LoX to consoles. We have just finished the gamepad support for LoX. It has been quite complex as the game has many different mechanics, but after a lot of work the game is fully playable with a gamepad. It feels very intuitive and fast to play.

Second, we are working on a new game in a different genre. What could it be? Any guess? :) It is a secret at the moment... but we hope to start talking about it very soon.

In the meantime...

We are also sketching what Lords of Xulima II will be. We are exploring new ideas and taking all the feedback possible from the forum comments and reviews. We have created a new forum branch "Lords of Xulima II Feedback" where you can write your ideas and wishes. Here you can comment on what parts or mechanics you have enjoyed the most from LoX, and which of them you enjoyed less or would change. We would love to hear your ideas! We will periodically update the post to collect and summarize the feedback.  

Thank you very much to all the players of LoX. Thanks for sharing it and recommending it. The success of this game has only been possible with your support.

All the best!

MEGA UPDATE: Workshop and much more!

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Welcome to Lords of Xulima V.2.0!

To celebrate the first anniversary of Lords of Xulima, we have released a major update with a lot of new things.

The Workshop

Finally, the Workshop is available. With the Workshop, you can create your own mods for the game in which you can change the rule set system to create a unique experience or simply to improve the original game to your taste.

We have created a specific application, the Lox Editor. With this tool, you can change the global parameters of the game, the encounters, monsters, skill, classes, treasures... in a very easy way. Then you can publish your mods so other users can try your version of LoX.

Players can easily manage the mods and activate them from inside the main game menu. First, subscribe to the ones you like in the Workshop page of LoX and then you can activate them directly from the game.

You now have three Mods available: "No Random Encounters Edition" (created by the Team), "The Deepest Dark" by the user Celerity and the "Streamlined Edition" by Valadurs Erbe. Hope you enjoy them!

Improved Game Balance

For the new version, we have tweaked a bit the difficulty levels to achieve a better overall balance. The treasures are now better and the bosses from the mid-end part of the game are now more challenging. The Normal version is a bit harder. Also, the resistances are capped at 90 as many features of the game were broken when you got immunity to certain types of damage.

New Wallpaper and Portrait for Gaulen

Our friend and great illustrator Nicole Cadet created a new portrait for Gaulen which you can see in the game. There is also an awesome new wallpaper. The HD version is included in the Deluxe Edition. Surely the scene represented is very familiar to you ;o).
 

New Main Theme

Our composer Nicolas de Ferran has recorded again the main theme with the Russian violinist Maria Grigoryeva playing the Solo Violin. The main theme of LoX is now more beautiful than ever.

And that's all for now...

We really hope you enjoy the Workshop. Playing the new mods can be a new original experience, providing you the perfect excuse to replay Lords of Xulima. 

Although we are working on more projects, like the consoles porting of Lords of Xulima and a new very secret game, we will continue working to improve our beloved old-school RPG.

Thank you very much for your great support and see you soon!