Beer and Joysticks
RockPaperShotgun, Kotaku, Joystiq, RPGWatch, rpgFrance, Kicktraq, RPGCodex, LinuxGameNews, NZgamer, InsideMacGames, playON, indieDB, modDB, Hyper, Hardwired, GameStar, Kicking It Forward!
Now that Nasrus revealed his plot, the kings of Balrum sent their armies to the borders of the unknown lands captured by Nasrus. The power of the undead armies had been greatly underestimated. No one survived the battles. Without the armies of the kings, chaos has overcome Balrum. Large bandit clans formed and started to live by their own rules. Soon the kings of Balrum had fallen. Two little villages stood up against the new bandit rulers and decided that the only way they will survive is if they hide in the Dark Woods. No one dare enter the Dark Woods and this is what the villagers took advantage of. A horrible deal has been made, but the villagers are safe for now. The undead hordes of Nasrus are still waiting at the borders, but they can march into the heart of Balrum anytime their lord commands and there is no one to stop them. The people wonder why the good gods of Balrum, Adacus and Eogor don’t seem to be interested in the events that took place.
The world is realtime in Balrum. This means that you will see NPCs and animals living their daily lifes. The living world is one of the most important feature for us, an amount of the kickstarter funds will go into creating animations and AIs (different daily life AI for each NPC) for the NPCs that live in the world. For example: You will see the blacksmith create a weapon, or NPCs will sit down at home and eat, sleep, talk, or the woodcutter will actually go and chop down trees. Animals live their lifes as well, they eat, sleep, even hunt each other. We love to find lots of things to use in our favourite games. So we tried our best to make everything that looks to be useable in the world, useable. You will find vast amount of herbs and materials in Balrum. For your home you will need huge amounts of materials that is why you can chop down trees and mine stone. The world is hand made. Nothing is randomly generated. Every chest you find will have loot that was placed by hand. But don’t gather everything hastily, because the mushroom that you want to pick up may be more powerful the next day. Special mushrooms and other special herbs can level up in Balrum. Small details are important for us for example if it starts to rain, small pools of rain will appear and who knows, you might find something in those little pools! There are lots of dungeons to explore in the world of Balrum, some of them are multiple levels deep. Every dungeon will have a master who is the boss of the given dungeon. These dungeon masters will drop carefully selected loot so that you will feel that beating the dungeon was really worth it. We are creating a game that is aimed at mature players.
Screenshots: Check out our gallery here!
Storytelling is really important for us. When you reach chapter 2 in the game, (we will have 5 chapters in the final game) you will be able to choose from 3 guilds to join. Each guild will have its own storyline that will eventually lead you to the outcome of the game. There are dozens of side quests that you can complete in the game. We don't like linear quests so we try our best to create little stories that have multiple ways of completing them. Through quests your character will develop, NPCs will act differently if you help them or if you are kind to them. New dialog options will appear if you earn the trust of the given NPC.
You can build your own home in Balrum. In fact, in chapter 1 you will be asked by your grandfather to build a new home for the two of you because something terrible happened to your old home and it became uninhabitable. In the following chapters you will leave home and you will be able to choose to build a home for youself that is yours only, or not, and live a true adventurer life.
There are benefits of building a house:
- NPCs can visit you at home and sometimes offer quests or leave notes!
- If you sleep at home you will get buffs that boost your abilities for a certain amont of time.
- Your farm will be close to your house so essentially the house can act as storage space for your equipment and your farm!
- If you build the crafting “tables” in (or near) your home you can craft anything at home!
You can upgrade your house with new furniture or maybe you find a nice trophy or hide that fits in your home nicely , and you can redesign your house anytime.
There are NPCs around the world who can teach you how to make weapons, or how to brew all kinds of potions, but you can also make your own custom items. You can choose the materials that you would like to use and the item type, after that the game will tell you about your soon to be made item, how powerful it is(various stats of it). You can choose the icon for your item but the icon that you like will only be selectable if the item that you put together meets the icons quality level.
the herbalist book (early concept):
To survive you must eat. You can find food in the world or even buy food, but the best is to cultivate your farm! You can place down your fields near your home and start growing your crops. Every plant needs a different amount of time to grow. You can speed up the process with taking care of your fields, making sure that they are hydrated and fertile if you are lucky it will rain and that helps a lot too! You also have to protect your farm from large creatures that might trample your fields. A sturdy fence would most certainly help!
You can hunt prey in Balrum. Sneak up or attack your prey from afar. Try to shoot a deer with your trusty bow, but if you miss, the deer will most certainly try to run away from you. If you succesfully kill your prey and you know how to skin animals properly, you will be able to process the prey fully. Place down traps and you might get lucky and capture smaller animals without the need of pursuing them.
Combat in Balrum is turn based. (but only combat, the world is realtime) The player will have a large selection of spells and abilities at his or her disposal. (currently 65 but we are aiming for 100+) We worked hard to create spells and abilities that have truly different gameplay mechanics.
If your fireball hits the target it will damage it of course, and apply a damage over time effect too. But what if your fireball does not hit? Well then that fireball will go on and maybe hit something else! When you are sneaking around you can distract your enemies and while they are distracted their backs are open for your sneaky attacks. If you find a magic weapon it may hold secrets, and if you learn enough about the weapon you may find that it can give you a special ability or it can charge up and cast a spell at your enemies. Find yourself in a tough situation? No problem, if you know a little bit of dark magic. Cast Horror on those who surround you and they will flee like sheep. Transform your enemies into pigs, or other creatures. Bless yourself with all kinds of useful spells. When a powerful enemy mage starts to cast a spell that requires 2 or 3 turns to cast, quickly interrupt him with your handy Spell Halt spell or Larynx Strike. In melee combat if your target dodges or parrys your attack if you are quick enough you can strike him back right after he avoided you with a special attack. Learn area of effects spells that deal lots of damage, but be aware that these powerfull spells damage you and your allies as well.
Skills are learned from masters. For example: if you want to skin animals you have to know how to. Skills will have different levels, you can achieve new levels in the given skill through using the skill, and if you reach a certain sublevel of the skill you need to learn the next level from a teacher.
A few skills:
- Pick Locks
- Create weapons
- Create armor
Line of sight is affected by light in Balrum. So if you hide in the shadows you will be harder to spot. Also if you have a few water arrows in your inventory you can disable far away torches by shooting them. There are a number of abilities that can only be used while in stealth. For example: Knock Down, Rapid Strike. Since quite a few gameplay mechanics are affected by light in Balrum, we thought that sound should have an affect too! So now if you wear heavy armor your footsteps can be heard more easily than if you were wearing leather. Or if you make lots of noise creating a camp, or crafting something, wildlife might get aware of you! Maybe you want to create noise on purpose..!
Here are a few things that are in the game because of our community at balconyteam.com! A huge thanks for you guys! :)
Wound system: For example if a bear critical strikes you, there is a huge chance that you will receive a bleed debuff that might last for a 100 turns, to get rid of this debuff you need to properly tend to your wounds!
Durability: Simple items will degrade with use, but magic items won’t!
A little randomness to crafting: You know that nearly in every game if you find a recipe, that recipe will give you an item exactly what it describes. What we mean by a „little randomness to crafting” is that there is a 20-30% random factor to crafting.
Crafting outcome: You can fail, critically fail, succeed, and critically succeed in creating your items. For example if you critically succeed in creating your potion it will be more powerful than a simple successful create.
Truly Cruel AI: We wanted to make bosses in the game really hard to defeat, and our community voted yes on our idea, so you can expect bosses that are going to be a real challenge.
-Rare mobs that only spawn at a specific time and place, for a specific amount of time. NPCs can give you hints where these mobs have been seen ..etc. (or they might spawn if the proper ritual is completed)
Rumors: NPCs will talk about rumors and you will be able to see what they are talking about in small and hopefully not ugly :) chat bubbles.
Don’t forget replay value: Each big guild in the game will give the player a different approach to the game, also if you choose different skills to level this will also give you a different feel to your character. (this means that we will give true meaning to skills and they will make the game different)
Naturally replay value was in our original plans, but the guys on the forums directed us in the right way with it.
Female character: A female character with all the animation frames!
Mountain Mining: Mine yourself into the dark hearths of the mountains of Balrum! Uncover forgotten evil!
Fishing: Yet another way to make food in Balrum! Choose from different baits! Discover the best places for fishing! Find epic fishing poles!
Seasons: Winter and autumn comes to Balrum and with them a lot of new mechanics! Maintain heat in your house or you can't sleep at home during the winter. Your farm is not functional during the winter so its a good idea to put aside some food!
Art: The art for chapter 1 is mostly done but the following chapters will have different areas like swamps, desolate fields, undead terrain, new dungeons..etc, so these new areas need new art. Also right now we have a few monsters in game as you can see in our video but the game needs way more than what we have now! There are 500 unique icons in the game but we will double this number! Our artists will create ingame maps that you can buy from a cartographer. NPCs have daily schedules and we need extra animations for sleeping, eating, sitting, working, ..etc.
Sound: Right now we have contacted and have been contacted by quite a few musicians and we will make our final decision who to work with if we succeed.
Programming: ~50% of our time will be spent writing code and the other half with design.
The following items are not as expensive as the above mentioned but they cannot be overlooked: hardware, licenses, web, testing
Add-Ons! Kickstarter only Add-Ons! What are add-ons? They're nice extras that you can add to your existing revard level, regardless of the reward you claimed. If you want an add-on, just increase your pledge without changing your existing reward. You can buy multiple addons. At the end of the campaign you'll receive an official email asking which add-on you wanted.
If you have a 200$ or more reward you will recieve all addons (if you want)!
DRM free digital soundtrack $8 : Get a digital copy of the music of Balrum.
Extra copy of Balrum $10 : Now that you backed us you can get yourself, or for your friend, another copy of the game for less!
Create a Magical Item $15 : Create your item that we will place in the world! Specify the item type, write it's lore, it's stats, describe it's icon! We will make an icon for it based on your description!
Special animal tamer $20 : There are a few really exotic animals in the world of Balrum. You will be able to tame these animals. Players without this addon will be able to tame all the animals except these special ones. (these special animals are mainly cosmetically different but they will have a little extra in them from a gameplay standpoint)
Ring of light! $20 : You will recieve a ring right when you start the game. This ring emits a constant light that is not flickering and if you have it you don't need to use torches. You can specify the color of the light!
Bulk, get them all $60 : Get every Add-On for a special price!
Risks and challenges
RPGs are really complex, and releasing a quality product is often challenging even for the huge companies out there. But we have the most problematic systems up and running like AI, crafting, combat, quest system. Lots of other smaller systems are completed too, but they are waiting for art and sound. There is still a lot of work ahead of us, but we are confident that we can deliver the complete game on schedule.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (30 days)