Rules of egangement and a new screenshot
Hi guys, this is Guido Henkel with another update for you.
Early Bird Editions are all sold out, and we are on our way to 2,500 backers. We are hoping, of course that we will reach them over the weekend, which would unlock the Fourth Ending in the game, giving you even more replayability and things to explore in the final game.
We are also continuing to work the press and I just finished a 2-hour long video chat with Matt Barton from “Matt Chat” earlier today. If all goes well, the first part of it may go live as soon as this weekend, and we’ll let you know when it is up on Matt’s YouTube channel. The conversation touches upon all aspects of my career, as well the “Deathfire” project, so I am sure, you guys will love this, because it does cover a lot of ground.
There’s also a very good interview on the German site GamersGlobal that is definitely worth checking out. It is in German, so you may need a web translator, to get the gist of it, but it’s definitely worth it. I think it is a very interesting interview because it touches upon some subjects that are often overlooked, so please take a look and share it with your friends.
Trick or Treat!
I thought it is time to provide you with some new eye candy, and since Marian and Thomas just finished working on this area of the game, we thought, why not? So, here we are, proud to present to you a brand new screenshot from the game. A scene where you have just entered a realm in the Apocryphic Temple that is protected by skeletal warriors. Good luck getting through there!
Rules of Engagement
As you know, from the very beginning, we were dedicated to adding turn-based combat to the game, and over the months, a number of questions came up, which spurred me into giving you a bit of a rundown over our plans.
Why turn-based combat in the first place?
The advantages of turn-based over real-time combat are certainly in the eye of the beholder, and his or her preferences, but also lie in the game itself.
When I have my action-RPG hat on, I’m perfectly happy with real-time combat. I play a lot of “Skyrim,” which is entirely in real time, and I enjoy it tremendously. I also loved the combat in games like “Legends of Grimrock” or the original “Dungeon Master,” etc. even if it became a mad clickfest at times. Regardlessly, they serve their purpose well in each respective game because the game as a whole was designed that way.
However, when I put on my more traditional role-player hat, real time doesn’t cut it for me for a number of reasons. For one, it gets very hectic, and when you are trying to control a party of six players, each decked out with various weapons and spells, this can quickly become a nightmare to handle. Not to mention, that I always feel at a disadvantage, because the computer doesn’t have to do all that…
In addition, real time combat somewhat limits the number of options you can offer the player at any one time. After all, actions have to accessible very quickly or else your characters may be dead before you even selected the right command.
It further minimizes real tactics and strategy, as you are essentially forced to react reflexively, without actual thinking about the situation. So there is a tremendous difference in focus between real-time and turn-based combat.
As I said before, real-time combat is not a problem per se, and it works wonderfully in a certain type of game. “Deathfire: Ruins of Nethermore” is, however, not that kind of game, as we are trying to dig deeper and create a richer role-playing experience. It is just not going to be an action-RPG.
Therefore, in our game, for every character in your party you will have the opportunity to think about and decide what you want them to do. You can select weapons, you can target specific opponents, depending on who you feel is the most vulnerable or dangerous, you can cast spells, use items, potions, etc. and you can do all of that at your own leisure without incurring any penalties.
This is all pretty standard stuff, really, and has been done very successfully in countless RPGs in the past. We will be adding things such as diminishing damage based on distance, etc. to the mix also, just as a regular pen&paper game would.
The other question that comes up a lot, however, is why we are not switching to a third-person perspective during combat, like the “Realms of Arkania” games did, for example. The advantages are obvious. You can move and place your characters like you would on a chess board, almost, treating each one entirely independently, and then offer all of the aforementioned action options on top of it.
The third person perspective also gives you a better overview over the battlefield itself, thus allowing you to strategize better, and use tactical steps for you encounter, such as hiding behind obstacles and walls, among other things to flank out an opponent. It adds complexity to the mix that make the combat even more engaging.
Sadly, it is also the reason why, at this time, we have opted not to do this in “Deathfire.” Creating such combat scenarios requires a lot of resources and additional technology.
First you will need to be able to detach and raise the camera for an overview. This may sound trivial, but can result in a glut of graphic errors, as you break through ceilings and other geometry. Therefore, the entire logic behind the graphic objects and their interaction with the camera needs to be changed.
On top of it comes the problem of visibility. You need to make sure important objects, such as characters or monsters do not entirely disappear behind walls all of a sudden. A core logic has to be developed that makes pieces invisible or translucent in order to give the player a proper view of the scene. Naturally, you also need to ensure that each of these objects is easily selectable by the player, which can become a challenge when objects overlap in a third person view.
And then there is the problem of art assets themselves. If the game stays within a first person perspective, the player never gets to see his actual characters. All he sees are portrait representations of them. Once we detach the camera, fully animated and detailed 3D models of player characters will have to be created. What’s more is that they will also have to be customizable and the customizations have to be created as well - all of them! If one character is wearing a golden helmet, you will want to see a golden helmet. If he wields a cleaver for a weapon, you will want to see that cleaver, of course. Not just any cleaver, but that particular cleaver, and ideally, if he already killed someone with it, it should show some blood. Naturally, hair color, body structure, armor, shoes and clothing all should also be properly reflected in the character’s image.
That is a lot of work to do. Enough to easily keep two artists alone busy for a year. It is something that would eat up financial resources like crazy, and it is for that reason that we have decided not to go there, even though it would result in more engaging and potentially challenging combat scenarios. Our currently outlined budget simply does not allow for that, and that’s why we have decided to add this to our project as a stretch goal. If we manage to exceed the base funding for “Deathfire,” third-person combat will definitely be one of the first stretch goals to show up.
We will see if we will get to that point.
Shout-out to our Friends
With only 15 hours to go as of this writing “Obduction” has managed to reach its funding goal after a long struggle. For a while it looked like they would not make it there, but in the end, all the pieces fell into place, just like they do in all of Cyan’s games. There is still a bit of time to get in on the action, so make sure to take a look.
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