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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.
1,313 backers pledged $35,657 to help bring this project to life.

Linear or Open Worlds


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!

Andrew Pam, Sleet, and 17 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Michael on

      In regards to openness I think the first game was almost perfect. You start with only a couple places you can really go, then the world gradually opened up.

      I really liked the rewards for clearing an area of random encounters, but then I'm one of those people who will obsessively find every chest and item and fight every encounter in order to "complete" a map. It felt like a nice reward for such a playstyle.....

    2. AKASlaphappy

      Sounds Awesome!

    3. Kordanor on

      I like the change regarding random encounters. Also I think that the sole concept to have "some" kind of infinite money and XP in a "natural way" is a good one in a game like this as you wouldn't necessary feel forced to max something out while it is possible. But I also hope that similar changes are coming to the skills. Herbalism was a very bad mechanic in LOX which you should only use when it was maxed out. And so was Learning which was basically a pure minmaxing skill, which didn't really add anything to the game besides of making it more complicated.

      Regarding Linear and Open World: Well, of course I don't want a completely linear experience. Also I am not a fan of "fake" openness, where you have 3 options of which 2 result in enemies 10 times as strong as you, leaving only one viable one. I think Spiderweb did an awesome job with Avernum in that regard. It feels extremely open, you have tons of options and still you have very harsh difficulty differences.

      I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with in LOX 2.

    4. Andy Linea of Sin - DOoD on

      Great!! Thanks for telling! I really loved the game as I started but got annoyed very soon, and I think it was because I found the hard enemies. I played right after you gave the key, and I guess you improved it a lot after. So now there is no other choice, I have to try it again! :)

      For respawning I like the idea of putting different types of monsters in 'cleared' places sometimes. Hmm, it is hard to figure out the best way... Good luck with that!

    5. Missing avatar

      SXF on

      So stoked for LoX 2!

    6. madGamer on

      Gameplay i think its fine, sometimes a little hard to pass, but possible. I think the worst is the lack of npcs and a better writing. I think for me was the worst i didnt have much motivation to finish the game because of the quests and dialogs. If you fix this for sure i will buy lords of xulima2.

      But maybe this type of games dont focus much in story as crpg's like baldurs gate, torment, etc...

      good luck anyway :)

    7. Dawn_

      I liked the game as it was with finite encounter (but maybe put more challenge like Arms on FFVIII) also i really enjoyed the opened world i wouldn't want a linear world. It gave the illusion of choice as in which brother i was going to attack first.

    8. Darklord on

      Aww I liked clearing the areas of monsters, while having to wander so much was annoying if you could simply speed this up. (whistle of monster summoning) I'd have been very happy. Removing it is a bit of a shame.

      Regardless this is one of my fave games of recent years and I can't wait for the sequel. :)