Funding Unsuccessful This project’s funding goal was not reached on .

Update #8

Rules of egangement and a new screenshot

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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!

Skeleton Warriors inside the Apocryphic Temple [Click to enlarge]
Skeleton Warriors inside the Apocryphic Temple [Click to enlarge]

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.

Comments

    1. G3logo.small

      Creator G3 Studios on November 17

      Shashi, yes, we noticed the typo as well, but unfortunately it is not possible to correct it. Kickstarter does not give you the opportunity to edit updates. I apologize for the error, of course, but it was on oversight stemming from the fact that I simply tried to do too many things at the same time.

    2. 082a85e8808669660715d81a8d507b36.small

      Creator Shashi Mohan on November 17

      Umm.. I thought others would point it out, but there's a typo in the title of this update

    3. G3logo.small

      Creator G3 Studios on November 16

      Matt Chat - the first part of my interview is now live - http://www.youtube.com/watch…

    4. Made_by_ma.small

      Creator Tutamun on November 16

      Thanks for the confirmation. :-)

    5. G3logo.small

      Creator G3 Studios on November 16

      @Tutamun: I think I should have been more concise in my explanation, if I say that third-person combat would be one of the first stretch goals, it implies that it would be optional. The player would be able to chose whether he wants to play out his combats in the first-person or third-person perspective. Features such as this would always be an additional option, but not replace the existing version.

    6. Made_by_ma.small

      Creator Tutamun on November 16

      Having an auto resolve (or auto fight) in addition to the turn based combat is a good idea which I support. That would definitely speed up those easy battles.

      As for first vs. third person combat...
      I've reread this update, the part on stretch goals on the main page and the blog post about "the conception of Deathfire".

      This is what I get:
      In addition to the planed first person combat, the stretch goal will add the option to switch to a third person combat.

      As this will be optional I'll withdraw my objections. I'm totally fine with this. Just make sure that both modes are fun.

    7. Teammember.small

      Creator Marian Arnold on November 16

      It think both Systems have their pros and contras. So I wouldn't be worried too much about it right now. First we have to reach that Stretch goal and second I think more of it like an addon to the combat. Like the autofight button in Realms of Arkania. You still can do it the faster rounds but for some difficult fights you may want to have more strategical Options.

    8. Img_0633.small

      Creator meganothing dread hamster of torment on November 16

      I like Deathfire as it is. turn-based, first person. Informative update

    9. Major%20hq.small

      Creator Darklord on November 16

      Great news, I think this one is going to fund, and hopefully make some stretch goals to! :)

    10. Made_by_ma.small

      Creator Tutamun on November 16

      "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."
      I hope not! I really loved the combat in the “Realms of Arkania” games... but I would prefer the combat to stay in first person perspective. Turn based combat is great and one reason why I'm so excited about Deathfire. But switching perspective would pull me out of the game more than it would add to the game.

      Third person combat creates a game in a game... there is a whole new level of tactics possible for sure. But it also breaks the flow of the game with every switch. It will also make the game slower. e.g. when you are attacked by a low level group of spiders where it only takes one or two swing to kill them, the combat switch would get pretty annoying... especially if this keeps repeating with random encounters.

      (Even the 'stop' for first person turn based combat could become tedious... There are easy fixes e.g. with a mechanic that lets very low level opponents flee when they see you... or you only spawn equal level opponents... or find a balance to how often random encounters happen. e.g. make them more likely the longer nothing interesting has happened. If you could somehow 'see' if the player gets bored with too few or annoyed with too many encounters you could let the game react to that. Sort of like a DM who can react to the mood of the player(s).)

      I'm sure there are fans who would love to see the more tactical third person combat. But please consider a change like this very carefully. Third person combat is not just a nice addition to the game but drastically changes how the game is played and how it feels.

      At least for me Deathfire would immediately loose some of its appeal if you go for third person combat.

    11. Gasseous_entity_sdavatar__party_goat.small

      Creator S.D. on November 16

      Turn-based tactical isometric combat view?! Base funding goal be damned, I seriously want that stretch goal!! Good grief that's drool-worthy...

    12. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Kordanor on November 16

      While I completely "agree" with what is said in the updateI think you shouldn't focus on the "why not" but on the why and how. Would have left a more positive picture if you had explained how the combat will work in detail and what exactly the advantages are.

    13. 883659762.small

      Creator Zombra on November 15

      Nice update! Skeleton warriors are scary. I love to see my customized PCs fully rendered in the game, but I understand the huge demands this would put on dev resources. Hope we can make it to the stretch goal :)

    14. Missing_small

      Creator Gabriel Morin on November 15

      Wizardry-style combat is right up my alley, and is definitely part of why I backed this game.

      Great explanation of the technical issues with switching to an external view btw.

    15. Missing_small

      Creator Overslept (deleted) on November 15

      Personally, I like TB combat and the graphic is more than enough for my imagination at the current level (with decent writing, hopefully). Rather, I'd like them to keep the budget in a realistic scope. That said, of course, if some people-especially those who like better graphics can boost the budget, I have no problem with that.

    16. G3logo.small

      Creator G3 Studios on November 15

      I'm playing an archer in Skyrim as well, because it gives you the ability to pick targets off beforehand, but you are correct, even then it becomes very frantic because the time it takes to switch weapons for melee.

    17. Ks_profile_pic.small

      Creator Jesse Dylan Watson on November 15

      3rd-person or not, I'm really happy this game is created around a turn-based system. I love Skyrim, too, but I think part of the reason real-time combat works there is because you're only controlling one character, and it can still get a little frantic at times (which might be why I love being an archer so much, but even then, it can still get frantic!).

      It seems like all my favorite genres have turned into action games. Even the new Torment game is considering a "real-time with pause" combat system. :( But if I can still get the games I want by pledging on Kickstarter, then I'm very happy. :)

    18. Ksav.small

      Creator Talon Edgewater [Xulima[Bloom]Deathfire] on November 15

      I'm personally glad it's first-person! It makes the game stand out! Excellent update.

    19. Bertrand_russell_governors.small

      Creator Jeff Szudzik on November 15

      A fine defense of turn-based combat which is certainly my preference, and not just for this type of game :)

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